Kansas coach Bill Self talks to reporters following the Jayhawks' 87-86 overtime victory over Missouri on Feb. 25, 2012.
KU players Tyshawn Taylor, Thomas Robinson and Conner Teahan talk about the Jayhawks' 87-86 overtime victory over Missouri on Feb. 25, 2012.
Missouri coach Frank Haith made it clear once again after Kansas University’s 87-86 victory over MU on Saturday: He isn’t convinced the KU-MU Border War rivalry should end after this season.
“If you saw the atmosphere out here today and the atmosphere at our place, it’d be sad if we don’t play,” Haith said. “I just don’t understand it, and hopefully we can get to it and continue to play. This is too good of a game and too good of a rivalry to not play.”
The contest had many similarities to the teams’ first game on Feb. 4, with the roles reversed this time.
This time, Missouri was the road team that wasn’t getting the benefit of a home whistle. That included the final seconds of regulation when a potential game-winning layup by Phil Pressey was blocked by KU’s Thomas Robinson.
“It was a lot of contact,” Haith said. “Hey, some of the bounces don’t go your way.”
MU guard Marcus Denmon said he thought Pressey might have been bumped going into the lane.
“We are on the road, so we knew we probably wouldn’t get a call,” Denmon said. “We were just trying to get a good look at the basket.”
Haith had a few words with the officials about the no-call before overtime began.
“I was just hopeful that we could get the same contact calls on both ends,” Haith said. “If there’s going to be no-call, then there should be no-call on the other end. That’s the only thing I had a conversation with the officials about.”
Haith’s main beef appeared to be a whistle a few seconds earlier. With KU trailing, 75-72, Robinson put in a layup while drawing a foul on MU guard Michael Dixon.
Robinson completed the three-point play to tie it with 16 seconds left.
“I want to see what happened on that foul,” Haith said, before pointing at a media member and winking, indicating he wanted to say more but couldn’t.
MU led, 67-53, with 10:40 left in the second half before being held without a field goal for six minutes, 50 seconds.
During that time, KU went on a 13-2 run to close the deficit to 69-66.
“We had the game in our hands, just like they apparently had the game in their hands in Columbia,” MU senior guard Kim English said. “We had the game in our hands. We gave them a gift.”
KU’s victory secured at least a share of its eighth straight Big 12 regular-season championship under coach Bill Self.
“Bill’s done a helluva job, boy, because that’s hard to do,” Haith said. “What’s he’s done is pretty amazing, and I have a lot of respect for what he’s done here, no question about it.”