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Kansas defeats Missouri, 70-66

  • 11 a.m., March 5, 2011
  • Mizzou Arena, Columbia, MO

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Seventh heaven: Jayhawks beat Missouri, claim league title outright

Kansas players Josh Selby, Thomas Robinson, Markieff Morris and Marcus Morris (22) collide in celebration on the court after defeating Missouri 70-66 and clinching the outright Big 12 conference championship Saturday, March 5, 2011 at Mizzou Arena.

Kansas players Josh Selby, Thomas Robinson, Markieff Morris and Marcus Morris (22) collide in celebration on the court after defeating Missouri 70-66 and clinching the outright Big 12 conference championship Saturday, March 5, 2011 at Mizzou Arena.

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Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self

Kansas coach Bill Self talks to reporters following the Jayhawks' 70-66 victory over Missouri on March 5, 2011.

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— Marcus Morris chose casual attire for a rare in-season, Saturday night out on the town.

“I didn’t bring it here. I’m going to wear it tonight (in Lawrence),” Morris, Kansas University’s junior forward, said of his yet-to-be-used 2010-11 Big 12 regular-season championship T-shirt.

Tucked away in his apartment closet since late Wednesday night — when the Jayhawks topped Texas A&M for a share of their seventh straight conference title — the shirt was ready to be revealed after Saturday’s 70-66 victory over Missouri in Mizzou Arena.

It was a victory that not only snapped MU’s 17-game homecourt win streak, but also guaranteed the No. 2-ranked Jayhawks (29-2 overall, 14-2 Big 12) the league’s undisputed, outright crown.

“We didn’t celebrate that much. It was OK,” Morris said of Saturday’s locker-room frivolity in Columbia.

“It’s very satisfying, (but) we are kind of used to it. Six in a row before this, now seven in a row ... not to sound arrogant, but we have a bigger goal now. Now there are two other championships to win. We’ll try to focus on that,” added Morris, who scored 21 points and grabbed 10 rebounds on a day KU outrebounded the No. 22-ranked Tigers 49-29.

KU will open its quest for a Big 12 postseason tournament title against Oklahoma State or Nebraska at 11:30 a.m. Thursday in Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo. After that, it’s on to the NCAA Tournament, where KU is in line for a No. 1 seed and possible first- and second-round games in close-to-home Tulsa, Okla.

Saturday, it was time not to look too far ahead, but celebrate the crown the Jayhawks worked hard to claim all winter long.

“It was fun, real fun, seven in a row, whatever you expected or could imagine, that’s what happened in the locker room. We couldn’t wait to get in there, couldn’t wait,” sophomore guard Elijah Johnson said after scoring four points with three rebounds and two assists in 26 minutes against MU (22-9, 8-8).

He also played sticky defense against MU’s backcourt players, who hit just three of 23 threes to KU’s two of seven.

“I would tell you what he was doing in there,” Johnson joked of passer-by Mario Little, “but I don’t think that’s for the public to know.”

It’s safe to say there probably was some whooping, hollering and hugging in the victorious locker room.

There also may have been some sighs of relief. KU led by as many as 15 points (63-48) with 4:11 left and four (63-59) at 1:32 before Tyrel Reed steadied the ship with a three at 1:05 — one that halted MU’s hopes of stealing a shocking victory.

“We think of it as, a lot of teams can’t win one (title), so to get to two all the way to seven, that’s a big deal, especially when you have some legendary coaches telling you that’s a big deal,” Johnson said.

“It speaks for itself,” Johnson added, asked what seven-straight titles says about the program. “It’s Kansas. We do some impossible stuff here.”

Like continue to battle through adversity.

Several Jayhawks said they had heavy hearts leading up to the big game. Assistant coach Danny Manning’s dad, Ed, died Friday.

“I texted him last night and had some time with him,” Marcus Morris said of Danny Manning, who remained with the team for Saturday’s game. “I told him I never had a father figure in my life, and he is that to me. I just tell him my prayers are with him, and I love him.”

Sophomore forward Thomas Robinson, who also is quite close to KU’s big-man coach, responded with 15 points and 13 boards in just 17 minutes.

“Danny had a lot to do with this,” Robinson said. “He is going through something with the death of his father. I especially knows how he feels with that.”

Robinson’s mother, grandmother and grandfather all died in a span of three weeks earlier this season.

“We all talked to Danny and said we’re here for him. He’s handled it great,” said Robinson, who had 13 points and eight rebounds the second half as Markieff Morris (10 points, eight boards) battled foul problems. “I feel I handled mine as well, but he is doing his way better than I did.”

KU coach Bill Self — “I’m really proud of our guys because three weeks ago we had no chance,” he said of the title — indicated he felt the players’ concern for Manning.

“Danny is a unique guy. He didn’t want anybody to know. I didn’t tell our team. Our players saw it on the ESPN scroll (Friday) across the bottom and came to me and said, ‘Is that true?’’’ Self said of former KU assistant coach Ed Manning’s passing.

“I said, ‘Yes, but he doesn’t want to make a big deal out of it right now.’ That’s how he is personality-wise. So the guys talked to him. There was no announcement: ‘This is what’s going on.’ Nothing like that. He said he didn’t want that.

“I told him, ‘You need to go home.’ He said, ‘No, I need to be here.’ He said, ‘Let’s do business as usual.’

“Ed Manning is a heck of a guy. Everybody knows that. Danny is hurting right now, but he didn’t want anybody to know that. I think the whole team loves him,” Self went on, asked about the big men’s feelings toward Manning. “I think they rallied around him, but it wasn’t a point where it was, ‘Hey, let’s do this for anybody.’ He would never allow us to do that.”

Robinson noted many things motivated him Saturday.

“We had a lot on the table with this game,” Robinson said. “Possibly be No. 1 seed in both tournaments, win the championship outright especially when people have us picked to win it every year, also coming here and breaking the winning streak for Missouri.”

MU’s streak was eighth-longest in the country.

“I don’t think we celebrate yet,” Robinson said. “It was a good win. We accomplished a goal we set, but there’s a bigger fish we want to catch.

“Maybe celebrate a little bit. Not fully yet. Ask me about that tomorrow morning, and I can tell you (about) that.”

Comments

HawkBBall 3 years, 1 month ago

24 turnovers, and still a victory over Mizery! The shooting percentage by Mizery, clearly shows me that the defense and rebounding by our Jayhawks got the win! Keep it up.

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bennybob 3 years, 1 month ago

Do you guys remember when dickie V picked the hawks to finish 5th in the big 12 preseason?

I really hate that guy.

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Randy Maxwell 3 years, 1 month ago

Someone over the age of 25 should never read these boards. It's really depressing how stupid KU fans have become

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KULA 3 years, 1 month ago

Great accomplishment by the kids! Especially to come back and win the league when they looked like they were out of it 2 weeks ago. Congratulations to everyone involved!

However, I can't help but have a sneaking suspicion in the back of my mind that a conference that can be so dominated by one school can't really be that strong over all. A history check of Big 12 Final Four appearances in these last seven years confirms it.

Nothing against Kansas though--someone's gotta dominate and we do it! I can't help but think better league competition would serve us better in the tournament, though. C'mon all you Big 12 also-rans--get with it and do your part to make Kansas even greater.

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Vittorio1224 3 years, 1 month ago

@ AlohaHawk ~ Cool stuff dude. We are heading back to the Islands for some R&R with the fam and a little bit of biz mixed in. Let's make sure we link it up and you can tell me where to get some good sushi! Mahalo!

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yovoy 3 years, 1 month ago

As for the strength/weakness of this league, it makes me wonder how our 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th place teams would fare in other leagues. I don't think they'd do very well in the Big East (I'm not convinced they wouldn't though), but I think they're as good as the mid-level teams in most of the other leagues. Sure, our mid-level teams aren't glamourous, but they do enough things (like play D AND O) to beat some teams in leagues where defense doesn't seem as important.

So what do we think here: how would teams like Missouri/Neb/Colorado/Baylor do in other conferences? Iowa State isn't what their record says IMO.

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PVJayhawk 3 years, 1 month ago

All,

Don't forget to thank out good friends* at K State, Nebraska, and Colorado for helping make the conference win possible.

*The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

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KU_FanSince75 3 years, 1 month ago

@ JayHawkFanToo---what's up with the fans stormin' the court at Carolina? I saw that, too. I was thinking the fans at Carolina are similar to KU---you know, having some class, basketball knowledge, etc., etc. I guess I was a little perplexed by that.

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JayHawkFanToo 3 years, 1 month ago

As I always say, every day is a good day to be a Jayhawk fan, but some days are better than others; today is one of those days. Some observations on today's CBS comedy of errors. A couple of times towards the end of the Kentucky-Tennessee game the game Missouri State-Indiana State started showing only to be switched back after a few seconds. An adult at CBS must have finally intervened as the MSU-ISU was shown in its entirety and then they switched to the Ohio State-Wisconsin game already started. Most embarrassing event on Saturday: North Carolina fans storming the court. HC Williams deserves better than to be embarrassed like that.

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COJHawk 3 years, 1 month ago

great win. bummed to not see it live. thanks for link above to see last 3+ mins.

a nice tribute to mizzou here. maybe i'm late to the party on this link, but i literally laughed out loud watching it. enjoy...

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jaydeamin 3 years, 1 month ago

LMAO, did I really just see NC fans storming the court after beating dook ha ha. How lame, both ranked teams.

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Redlandsjhawk 3 years, 1 month ago

Attention Missouri: If we're going to have a rivalry you're going to have to start holding up your end of the deal...Hah!!!

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Vittorio1224 3 years, 1 month ago

@AlohaHawk ~ Where in Hawai'i are you? I was just there for some work I was doing with the Univ of Hawai'i. I love going to Maui & Waikiki... Amazing place.

Mahalo for your colourful posts, Jayhawk in TX :)

rock chalk!!

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Andy Tweedy 3 years, 1 month ago

One thing has really irked me about the two Misery games this year. I am finding it impossible to keep my level of hate for those guys at the level it should be. Anderson seems like a pretty nice guy and I can't really find anybody to hate on their roster. For the last 20 years, there has always been a Norm Stewart, Jason Sutherland or Quinn Snyder that made it so darn much fun to hate those guys. Where is that guy for me to hate? Don't get me wrong, I still hate Misery, but it's just not the same. Here's hoping someone hires Coach Anderson away and hires another giant tool like Snyder!

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lee3022 3 years, 1 month ago

The Championship of the Big-XII is a great achievement and my first priority for the team every year (in terms of winning). It is done through 16 games and allows the best team in the conference to rise to the top, de3spite one or two slips. The tournaments offer no such opportunity as there are so many teams who can play above their talent on a given day. It takes both talent and luck to get to the Final Four. So, well done Jayhawks. You have made us rejoice once again this year in dominating the league (last year for the Big XII).

Big XII Tournament, next step, is an opportunity to repay both K-State and Texas. Both are favored to be matched up with us. Time to put those mis-steps behind us.

The NCAA Tournament is shaping up to be a great opportunity. With the likelihood of a #1 seed the experts are predicting us to the Southwest Region. This means we play in Tulsa, San Antonio and Houston for out three potential venues while Texas and Texas A&M must leave the state. Good for recruiting and good for our fans to reduce their travel.

Finally, Coach Bill Self and staff are once again showing themselves to be the best in this business. They have the team peaking at the right time. Naturally the coaches cannot make plays for the players but they prepare them well and put them in the best position to succeed.

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Kye Clark 3 years, 1 month ago

One of the more disappointing things about yesterday's game was that due to the lack of flow, constant fouling, commercial time-outs...we were unable to experience Gus Johnson at his best. How great would it have been to have him calling the first game between KU-Misery?

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claycountyjayhawk 3 years, 1 month ago

The 21 pts and 10 rebs should lock up the big 12 player of the year for marcus morris. I think bill self should be coach of the year in the big 12. 7 in a row WOW!. ROCK CHALK JAYHAWK kuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu

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FairgroveJayhawk 3 years, 1 month ago

7 in a row. What a great accomplishment! I hope the Lawrence fan base welcomed the Jayhawks home in droves.

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Funhawk 3 years, 1 month ago

Funny hair comments. Thanks for a good laugh. I'm beginning to think that many men, if not most, who are always in front of a TV camera are wearing wigs.

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Woody Cragg 3 years, 1 month ago

:Greg Gumbel's hair thing. (What the hell is that by the way? It looks like it has legs.)

I was thinking it was almost on par with James Brown's rug, or as bad a as those sported by misery players yesterday. You'd think Gumbel made enough dough to get better advice. Am still LMAO over that hair wannabe thing!

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Hail_To_Thee 3 years, 1 month ago

Well, I must admin.

I picked up my championship T before leaving the Fieldhouse after the aTm win. And I supported it very proudly the very next day. AND i'm very proudly supporting it today as well.

I know, I know. Same shirt 2 days out of the week. When it comes to a seventh straight title, YOU BETCHA.

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jaybate 3 years, 1 month ago

“It’s Kansas. We do some impossible stuff here.” --Elijah Johnson

This may be the single greatest quote about The Legacy I have ever read.

It is eloquent. It is authentic. It is without arrogance. It is true.

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KGphoto 3 years, 1 month ago

Slightly off topic, but I'm in a CBS bashing mood.

I've never been so torn going into a tournament season. All the greatness of KU's accomplishments on the court will be thinned by CBS's futile effort to catch every moment of every game.

The Morrii could go off in an MOP kinda way, but we'd have to listen to Jim Nance describe it with his abysmal dryness.

Thomas Robinson could immortalize a handful of fallen KU family with a hurricane of fury and atonement. But CBS would cut to Greg Gumbel's hair thing. (What the hell is that by the way? It looks like it has legs.)

Tyshawn Taylor could erupt for 10 turnovers, and somehow everything else in the tourney world would have miraculously stopped. No commercials. Nothing but TT, wild passes and foot dribbles... KU on display... "Here on sssssssCBS!!"

Dick Vitale's head could finally explode during a Duke rant, but we'd be watching the #8 vs #9 pre-game shootaround. That I would never let them live down.

I hate those bastards!

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KansasComet 3 years, 1 month ago

Looking forward to the Big XII Tournament. Should be a nice tune-up for the Big Dance. Time to prove we can win the grind it out-physical-ugly games. I think we will need to win at least two of those to win the National Title.

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minnhawk84 3 years, 1 month ago

anytime Dook gets beat by anyone is a good day.

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RockCaCO3 3 years, 1 month ago

Go to any of the major sports websites, and the headline is UNC beating Dook, not KU winning 7 straight conference championships. Yeah, there's no east coast bias. (Or nobody knows about it because no one saw it.)

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RockCaCO3 3 years, 1 month ago

I know the seasons not over, but what a ride! Damn this has been (still is) an incredible year. Good luck in the Big 12 tourney boys!

RCJHGKU!!!!!

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theajayhawk 3 years, 1 month ago

I have not seen Manning show much in terms of emotion in his current role. Realize he is a private person but hope he knows how much he is loved and admired. KS is so lucky to have a second person who is almost a Head Coach. With the way Self is coaching, I so hope KS is able to offer Danny enough so he is happy in a role that is not Head Coach.

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Martini_Boy 3 years, 1 month ago

If it's Evil to feel this good after beating MU in their house........... Then call me the DEVIL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Cmill1221 3 years, 1 month ago

I just want to give T-ROB some love! He had great possition and was Unstopable on the offensive boards! If he can make his free ones more consistantly he is going to have his jersey hung in the rafters someday (after 4 years).

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Kye Clark 3 years, 1 month ago

Some really deserving praise from Dana O'Neil on ESPN's website:

"The burden of being really good at what you do is people tend to take it for granted. So Kansas lost the two players (Cole Aldrich and Sherron Collins) who personified their team and another who was talented enough to be selected in the lottery (Xavier Henry)? So KU is back in the top five anyway? So the Jayhawks have now won at least a share of seven consecutive Big 12 titles? It’s Kansas. That’s supposed to happen. Except if it’s always supposed to happen, why doesn’t anyone else do it? Self’s run of supremacy is wildly impressive and pathetically under appreciated. "

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Michael Auchard 3 years, 1 month ago

I'm not overly sentimental about stuff, especially in sports, but this team is obviously so close. It's a shame so many tragedies have created this bond. But what an amazing bond. FOE is a great description of this team. They really are a family.

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KSA_21_3503 3 years, 1 month ago

Hopefully they don't put too much pressure on themselves for the worthless conference tournament.

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