Monday, February 8, 2010

KU-UT rivalry a doozy

Jayhawks, Longhorns hook up again tonight

Kansas guard Sherron Collins looks to pass against the Texas defense on Saturday, March 7, 2009 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Sherron Collins looks to pass against the Texas defense on Saturday, March 7, 2009 at Allen Fieldhouse.


KU basketball looking for improvement

After playing at a level unbecoming of the No. 1 team in the country, the Jayhawks are looking to improve against Texas Monday. Kansas currently boasts an undefeated conference record and looks to walk away from Austin with it intact.

Two of the Big 12 Conference’s best big men talk to each other and text from time to time.

In fact, this past preseason, Kansas University’s Cole Aldrich and Texas’ Dexter Pittman visited good-naturedly about today’s much-anticipated KU-UT matchup in Erwin Center.

“Cole said, ‘Gosh, we’ve got to come to you guys this year.’ I was like, ‘Yeah, you know I’m licking my chops about that one because it’s tough to play in you-all’s arena,” said Pittman, a 6-foot-10, 290-pound senior center from Rosenberg, Texas.

“He was telling me how crazy and nice it is to play in there,” Pittman added of Allen Fieldhouse. “Their fans go nuts, too. That little song they do scares me ... the ‘Rock Hawk Jayhawk?’ When they bust out and say, ‘Rock Hawk,’ that gets me.”

He realizes Texas fans likely will drown out any chants of “Rock Chalk Jayhawk” when the two teams renew their hoops rivalry at 8 tonight in Erwin Center.

“They’re going to be hearing ‘The Eyes of Texas’ when we play,” Pittman said with a laugh.

Pittman knows first-hand how much easier it is to defeat KU in Erwin than it is Allen.

Pittman in his UT career is 1-0 versus KU in Austin, 0-2 in Lawrence, 0-1 in Kansas City and 0-1 in Oklahoma City.

“I mean, they are a great team and all. I’m not going to take anything away from them. They have great players,” Pittman said of the No. 1-ranked Jayhawks, who enter 22-1 overall and 8-0 in the league. No. 9-ranked Texas, which figures to fall in the polls today after Saturday’s loss at Oklahoma, enters 19-4 overall and 5-3 in conference play.

“It depends how you approach them. How you play. How your team is. For us, if we go out and play hard and execute the game plan coach draws up, we can go out and win,” Pittman said.

“It’s not a cakewalk. It’s tough. We know going off past experiences, you have to bring it against them every night.”

Aldrich returned the compliment both Pittman’s and Texas’ way.

“He’s good. Oh, he’s good, but he’s not the only one. They’ve got a lot of guys to throw at you. They’re very talented,” Aldrich said, noting Damion James (17.8 ppg, 11.0 rpg) may perhaps be the best of all.

Kansas has won six games and lost four versus Texas in the Bill Self era. That includes an 0-3 mark at Erwin Center, 3-0 mark in Allen Fieldhouse, 1-1 mark in Dallas’ American Airlines Center, 1-0 mark in Kansas City’s Sprint Center and 1-0 mark in Oklahoma City’s Ford Center.

“They haven’t beaten us at our place in some good games, and we haven’t beaten them down there,” Self said. “To be honest, they controlled us handily in two of those three games. They’ll be excited to play. We’ll go down there excited to play. I assume Rick (Barnes, UT coach) won’t have to say anything to his kids, and I won’t have to say anything to mine to get them excited to play.”

Here’s a quick peek at all 10 games in the Self era. KU has won six of the past eight after dropping two in 2003-04, Self’s first year at KU.

KU 83, UT 73, March 7, 2009, Allen Fieldhouse: It turned out to be a festive day for Senior Day starters Brennan Bechard and Matt Kleinmann. Sherron Collins scored 21 points and dished seven assists, while Cole Aldrich added 12 points and 10 rebounds. UT’s James led all scorers with 26 points.

KU trailed, 44-30, late in the first half.

“Down 14 was a scary moment, but it made the end of the game that much better,” Kleinmann said.

KU 84, UT 74, March 16, 2008, Sprint Center: Mario Chalmers scored a career-high 30 points, while Brandon Rush contributed 19 in the Big 12 tournament title game. Chalmers hit eight of 12 threes and Rush six of nine as KU finished with 15 treys, one off a school record.

“That’s about as well-played a game as you can get,” Self said. “It was one of the best games I’ve been a part of.”

UT 72, KU 69, Feb. 12, 2008, Erwin Center: Texan Darrell Arthur’s 22 points weren’t enough as KU lost on Big Monday. Connor Atchley went 4-for-4 from three and scored 16 points. A.J. Abrams and James each hit for 14.

Chalmers missed a possible game-tying three at the buzzer.

James, who played three minutes the first half because of foul problems, grabbed 13 rebounds the second half while playing all 20 minutes. Justin Mason had six of his eight boards the second 20 minutes as Texas outrebounded KU, 23-12, after halftime.

“They outmanned us,” Self said.

KU 88, UT 84 (OT), March 11, 2007, Ford Center: KU battled back from a 32-10 deficit, the largest deficit in a victory in KU history. Collins scored 20 points, while Rush and Julian Wright each had 19 and Chalmers 17 in the Big 12 tourney title game. Kevin Durant scored 37 for the Longhorns.

“He’s the best I’ve ever seen,” Self said of Durant, who now plays for the Oklahoma City Thunder. “It was a fun game to coach and play in. What a great atmosphere.”

KU 90, UT 86, March 3, 2007, Allen Fieldhouse: Chalmers scored 21 points, while Wright had 17 points and 13 rebounds in helping KU claim its 50th league title. Durant scored 25 points off 10-of-14 shooting (4-for-5 from three) the first half as UT led, 54-42 at the break.

Durant sprained his ankle and mustered seven points off 3-of-8 shooting the final half, finishing with 32.

“He’s one of the best to ever play on that court,” Self said.

KU 80, UT 68, March 12, 2006, American Airlines Arena: Chalmers scored 15 points, while Russell Robinson and Jeff Hawkins had 14 and 13 respectively in the Big 12 tourney title game.

KU iced 12 threes while holding UT’s LaMarcus Aldridge to five points and five boards.

“To have a team come so far and play well over an extended period of time, it’s rewarding,” said Self, whose team lost to UT by 25 points in the regular season.

UT 80, KU 55, Feb. 25, 2006, Erwin Center: P.J. Tucker scored 19 and Aldridge 18 on a day Wright potted 18 for KU. It was a humbling defeat, the worst loss of the Self era. And it happened with ESPN’s Game Day crew in town.

“It was embarrassing. They manhandled us, outrebounded us, whipped us,” Rush said.

KU 90, UT 65, Jan. 29, 2005, Allen Fieldhouse: Wayne Simien scored 27 points off 11-of-17 shooting, while Keith Langford added 17 points. Aaron Miles had 10 points and eight assists as KU thrived in front of ESPN Game Day’s announcers. Daniel Gibson scored 19 for Texas.

“Miles did a great job with his on-the-ball defense. His intensity in slowing down Texas diaper dandy Daniel Gibson was a key factor. Miles also hit a couple of early trifectas and did a great job setting up his teammates,” ESPN’s Dick Vitale wrote after that game.

UT 64, KU 60, March 13, 2004, American Airlines Center: Brandon Mouton scored 18 points, including 10 straight in the second half. Jeff Graves and Keith Langford each had 14 for KU in the Big 12 tournament semifinal.

KU squandered an early 11-point lead on a day Simien was held to nine points off 2-of-8 shooting.

“They did a good job of waiting for us to mess up,” KU’s Langford said.

UT 82, KU 67, Feb. 23, 2004, Erwin Center: Mouton led the way with 23 points, while Tucker contributed 11 points and eight boards. Langford had 17 and Simien 15 points for KU. It marked KU’s fourth straight road loss and fifth loss in 11 games under KU’s first-year coach

“The last time I checked, it’s still February, and we’ve still got games to play,” Simien said. “We can’t give in, and we won’t.”

Indeed, KU marched to the Elite Eight that season.


yates33333 9 years, 11 months ago

UT is another wounded tiger, somewhat like Tennessee. Play close KU and win at the end. Go Hawks.

John Brown 9 years, 11 months ago

Yee Haa! Looks to be a barn burner! I think this match up is the best in college basketball. Win or lose, every year it has been a fun game to watch. However, looks like UT is showing thier youth this year and maybe vulnerable to Bill Self's first victory at their place.

Robert Brock 9 years, 11 months ago

UT's defense has run aground lately. Perhaps KU's mistake-prone offense will be their remedy. Time for the Hawks to wake up. C'mon!

Chris Corley 9 years, 11 months ago

Wait? So what is the Self-era all-time record break-down against Texas?

I think I may have missed it.

Jayhawk444 9 years, 11 months ago

Kansas has won six games and lost four versus Texas in the Bill Self era

zissou 9 years, 11 months ago

Just a suggestion: these types of stories are easier/more interesting to read when they're written with the games in chronological order.

Alan Mills 9 years, 11 months ago

Why the Kansas-Texas game is part of ESPN's Rivalry Week is a mystery. K-State was and still is a rivalry game. In the last 20 years, Mizzou has become our #1 rival on the hardwood. We don't have anything against the Horns. It's the Antlers we love to hate!

By the way, I found several good crow recipes, just in case Xavier can come out of his funk and prove me wrong!

Rock Chalk, Jayhawk! Can't wait for 8:00 PM!

Rick Arnoldy 9 years, 11 months ago

You don't have to hate no someone to be a rival. I look forward to the KU-UT matchups because they are so intense.

And crimsoninracine, if you think Missouri has only been our #1 rival the last 20 years then you are only 20 years old and/or are truly ignorant of history.

dynamitehawk 9 years, 11 months ago

Man I hope that we don't get caught looking ahead to Iowa State.

hammerhawk 9 years, 11 months ago

Texas a rival?! Ha. 100,000 students and unlimited $$$ for sports (and everything else). Let's pick someone more our size to have as a real rival.

Go Hawks.

gleece 9 years, 11 months ago

There is a KU vs. UT marathon on ESPN Classic today.

FairgroveJayhawk 9 years, 11 months ago

BIG MONDAY!! It's my favorite thing!!

With the history of great games between these two teams and the success both have had this year, tonight should be pretty intense. There are many ways to look at predicting the outcome. My favorite - Self is due to win in Austin, Tejas is down, and Collins is motivated to remain undefeated in B12 play.

dynamitehawk 9 years, 11 months ago

Kentucky is the only state that believes that Texas will win. Even Texas is choosing KU.

Steve Brown 9 years, 11 months ago

ESPN Big Monday: wonder how many minutes into our game before they switch after the Big East contest. My over under is the 16:48 mark.

Road win: Beating a top 20 team on their home court is tall task which is why you play March Dance on neutral sites. I recall years ago when early round games were in AFH. (beating top teams on home courts exception this year was Chapel Hill, recall when they had tons of losses and still ranked...)

KYJelly-Calimari: Should we not win the advantage is we slide from #1 to 3-4. a nice drafting place to be. Let KY be top spot until about March 12th. Sort of like the SI cover curse, better to not have the #1 target.

As I typed the last para' I realize it is stupid. Let us win, let us be #1 and let us defend the castle. RCJHKU

Mike Kendall 9 years, 11 months ago

"Man, I hope that we don't get caught looking ahead to Iowa State."

dynamitehawk---that's a good one! I don't think that will happen tonight!!!!!!

Mike Kendall 9 years, 11 months ago


Are you alive and kickin' in Austin? Are you just an "Urban Cowboy" rootin' the Hawks on? Talk to me, Wells!!!!!!!!!!!!!

SaltyJayhawk 9 years, 11 months ago

I disagree. I think ku-ut is a rivalry... not in football but in basketball. I mean look at how many great games are up there. in the past few years they've been our biggest challenge to win the big XII. and espn will attract more viewers with this game. I mean nobody wants to see us kicking mizzou's butt again.

Chris Weaver 9 years, 11 months ago

KU - Texas, Mizzou - South Florida, K-State - Utah. There's some bad blood that runs deep in those games!

Ed Fox 9 years, 11 months ago

Well Mario Chalmers said that he thought Texas was our top basketball rival at the moment, so I hardly think the idea is out of line.

okiedave 9 years, 11 months ago

K-State will always be our top rival - to much history there. Texas will replace Missouri as our 2nd top rival after Missouri begs the Big 10 to let them in and where MU has a better chance at winning a title in something.

milehighhawk 9 years, 11 months ago

soobawls - Texas isn't a rival?

Your statement, like most of your posts, is laughable.

lowtempman 9 years, 11 months ago

Missouri, to me, is the only true rival. Here is an example. I go back to 1960 when I was at KU. The Bert Coan issue came up. We beat Mizzou fair and square in football, [Missou was ranked #1 at the time], and whadayouknow, someone at Missou got the NCAA to make Coan ineligible [because he accepted a plane ride for crying out loud], and we had to forfeit the game and the Big Eight Championship.

I have ancestors who survived Quantrell's raid.

K-State and all the rest are friendly rivals. Mizzou is an enemy.

Marcia Parsons 9 years, 11 months ago

lowtempman: It wasn't the NCAA that made the decision. The NCAA said there was no violation. They bullied the Big 8 into forcing us to forfeit. I get mad all over again just thinking about that. I just finished watching the KU/UT "Nick Collison" game on Classic and the funny thing is it made me nervous, even though I knew how it ended.

mandomax 9 years, 11 months ago

Dexter Pittman one of the best big men in the Big XII? Please. 11.4 ppg and 6.2 rpg doesn't qualify as anywhere near the best. You need to look no further than his own team (James, who plays as a 4, 17.8 and 11.0). Marcus Morris (13.0, 6.3) Aldrich (11.6, 11.0) Curtis Kelly, (KSU 11.3 and 6.2) and Ekpe Udoh (Baylor, 14.1, 10.8) all deserve higher accolades than Pittman, even if he did lose 100 lbs over the offseason.

Even Freshman Brian Diaz (Nebraska, 9.0, 4.3) and Tiny Gallon (Oklahoma 10.3, 8.1) approach Pittmans numbers. The all-star matchup in this game is going to be McMorris guarding Damion James, not Aldrich on Pittman. Pittman is a banger in the post, and Aldrich has proved throughout his career that he can dominate other power post players. Its length and agility in bigs that give Aldrich fits (see Brackins, or Diaz who had 20 against KU on Saturday).

lowtempman 9 years, 11 months ago

oldalum- Yes you are correct that it was not NCAA but a vote by Big 8 reps. I just looked up the sorry affair on the net and aroused my old feelings on the whole matter. KU played 3 first place ranked teams that year, Sryacuse, [Ernie Davis, Heisman trophy], Iowa, and Mizzou. Interesting, we forfeited games to both Colorado and Missouri, but Colorado decided not to record their "win" in their records, instead recording the score on the field and the record as a loss with a footnote as to the forfeit. Not so, Missouri, of course. They had an "undefeated" 11-0 season. The AP poll, however, chose to rank them 5 in the final national standings. Minnesota was No 1 with 2 losses.

okiedave 9 years, 11 months ago

Uh, wasn't Quantrill born in Austin, Tex.?

nobody1793 9 years, 11 months ago

"Texas is a new rivalry!"

Texas is not a "rival", because if they were a bottom feeder we wouldn't care. Just like Okie State. When they were really good, it was a circle-the-date-on-the-calendar game, but now it's just another game. Texas is a big game, yes, but only because they're near the top of the standings.

Mizzou and K-State are rivals no matter what the records are (and no matter what the sport is). Yes the rivalry is more intense when K-State is a top 10 team, but that's not what makes them rivals.

lowtempman 9 years, 11 months ago

okiedave- Nice try at tongue in cheek- Wm Quantrill, [ you spelled his name right, I did not] born in Ohio.

Speaking of Missouri, I hope they go to the Big Ten or whatever they call it and beat the crap out of Penn State. The PSU vs KU football 1968 Orange Bowl is another game I would like to forget.

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