Monday, July 22, 2013

Good game: A look at the best KU games in the Bill Self era

Some of the best games in the Bill Self era at Kansas: from left, from top row, The 2008 national championship against Memphis; A 2006 overtime thriller against eventual national champion Florida; Texas’ Kevin Durant shines in Allen Fieldhouse in 2007; The 2012 Jayhawks advance past Ohio State in the Final Four; Kansas handles UAB in the 2004 NCAA Tournament; Acie Law and Texas A&M win at KU in 2007; Kansas slugs it out at home against Baylor in 2008; The eventual 2008 champs survive Steph Curry and Davidson; Wayne Simien and KU edge Oklahoma State in 2005; KU falls in a hard-fought game against Duke in 2011; The 2005 Jayhawks get revenge on Georgia Tech; KU sends away Tyler Hansbrough, Roy Williams and North Carolina from the 2008 NCAAs; and Kansas tops Missouri in an exciting finale to the Border War in 2012.

Some of the best games in the Bill Self era at Kansas: from left, from top row, The 2008 national championship against Memphis; A 2006 overtime thriller against eventual national champion Florida; Texas’ Kevin Durant shines in Allen Fieldhouse in 2007; The 2012 Jayhawks advance past Ohio State in the Final Four; Kansas handles UAB in the 2004 NCAA Tournament; Acie Law and Texas A&M win at KU in 2007; Kansas slugs it out at home against Baylor in 2008; The eventual 2008 champs survive Steph Curry and Davidson; Wayne Simien and KU edge Oklahoma State in 2005; KU falls in a hard-fought game against Duke in 2011; The 2005 Jayhawks get revenge on Georgia Tech; KU sends away Tyler Hansbrough, Roy Williams and North Carolina from the 2008 NCAAs; and Kansas tops Missouri in an exciting finale to the Border War in 2012.



Journal-World File Photos

Some of the best games in the Bill Self era at Kansas: from left, from top row, The 2008 national championship against Memphis; A 2006 overtime thriller against eventual national champion Florida; Texas’ Kevin Durant shines in Allen Fieldhouse in 2007; The 2012 Jayhawks advance past Ohio State in the Final Four; Kansas handles UAB in the 2004 NCAA Tournament; Acie Law and Texas A&M win at KU in 2007; Kansas slugs it out at home against Baylor in 2008; The eventual 2008 champs survive Steph Curry and Davidson; Wayne Simien and KU edge Oklahoma State in 2005; KU falls in a hard-fought game against Duke in 2011; The 2005 Jayhawks get revenge on Georgia Tech; KU sends away Tyler Hansbrough, Roy Williams and North Carolina from the 2008 NCAAs; and Kansas tops Missouri in an exciting finale to the Border War in 2012.

Defining a best game can be a tough thing to do. Is best referring to how big a win was, how well a team played, how hard players battled, how good they looked or simply how entertaining the game was to watch?

In a word, yes.

Keep that in mind as you stroll through the latest edition of our summer series, which looks back on the top players and memorable moments from Kansas University men’s basketball coach Bill Self’s first 10 seasons in Lawrence.

For some of us, it was the stakes and the outcomes that shaped our lists this week. For others, it was the pure enjoyment factor of a game that stuck in our heads hours after the final horn sounded, the one game where we just kept saying, ‘Wow, wow, wow,’ every time we thought about it.

KU has played plenty of meaningful games and won most of them. But making this edition of the summer series simply the biggest wins in the Self era would have backed us into a corner and made our lists look too similar. So we went with the best games theme and, as you will see, that meant something a little different to each one of us:

Gary Bedore

1. KU 75, Memphis 68, OT (April 7, 2008, San Antonio): It looked as if Derrick Rose, who had a big second half, would be the story until KU miraculously rallied to tie late and force OT on a Mario Chalmers three. The Jayhawks dominated in overtime in the NCAA title game.

1A. KU 87, Missouri 86, OT (Feb. 25, 2012): Last game of Border War. Enough said.

2. KU 84, North Carolina 66 (April 5, 2008, San Antonio): Brandon Rush had 25 points and seven rebounds in the Final Four semifinal in which KU stormed to a 40-12 lead before UNC rallied to within five points with nine minutes left.

3. KU 90, Texas 86 (March 3, 2007): Kevin Durant scored 25 points in the first half as the Longhorns awed a fieldhouse crowd that couldn’t believe its eyes. The Jayhawks wound up erasing a 16-point deficit and winning, thanks in large part to Julian Wright’s 17 points and 13 boards.

4. KU 59, Davidson 57 (March 30, 2008, Detroit): Sasha Kaun’s 13 points and six rebounds helped the Jayhawks survive a gritty Davidson team in the Elite Eight, giving Self his first Final Four. Stephen Curry was double-teamed on the final possession, could not get off a shot and was forced to pass to Jason Richards, whose 25-footer from the top of the key thudded off the backboard. Who can forget the shot of Self going to his knees, bending over in great relief?

5. KU 82, Florida 80, OT (Nov. 25, 2006, Las Vegas): Julian Wright had 21 points and 10 boards as KU beat the eventual national champions in Vegas. KU had a majority of fans in Orleans Arena who watched Darrell Arthur score six of his 19 points in overtime.

Tom Keegan

1. KU 87, Missouri 86, OT (Feb. 25, 2012): Sloppy ballhandling and uglier Twitter handling made Tyshawn Taylor the object of so much criticism, but when he was good, he was really good, and he never was better than when leading the Jayhawks back from a 19-point deficit in Allen Fieldhouse. Taylor scored nine of his 24 points in overtime and in 44 minutes had five assists, four rebounds and one turnover. Taylor and Thomas Robinson made sure the last game of the Border War series for what could be quite some time ended in KU’s favor.

2. KU 100, Baylor 90 (Feb. 9, 2008): The loaded Bears came ready to bring their best shot and it wasn’t good enough because Sherron Collins didn’t let it be good enough. Others had better games statistically, but when Kansas took over, it was Collins at the controls, relentlessly assaulting the lane with productive drives to the delight of the fieldhouse crowd.

“Sherron was Sherron,” Self said afterward. “He changed the game in the second half. When Sherron puts his head down, he is running downhill.”

3. KU 84, North Carolina 66 (April 5, 2008, San Antonio): Three, three, three games in one Final Four semifinal. Kansas won the first, 40-12. North Carolina won the second stretch (end of first half, beginning of second), 38-14, and KU closed it out with a 30-16 domination. Cole Aldrich made a name for himself by making life miserable for national player of the year Tyler Hansbrough for a stretch and Brandon Rush was magnificent, scoring 25 points.

4. KU 75, Memphis 68, OT (April 7, 2008, San Antonio): Lost amid the euphoria over Mario Chalmers’ amazing three-pointer was the reality that nobody from either side played a better game than sophomore Darrell Arthur, who contributed 20 points and 10 rebounds.

5. KU 90, Texas 86 (March 3, 2007): It didn’t take Kevin Durant long in his one-year Texas career to show he would become one of the best shooters in the NBA right off the bat. And it was obvious right from warmups that he was not going to waste his one and only opportunity to play on one of the most exciting basketball atmospheres on the planet. He looked around a lot, soaked it all in, and came out on fire, scoring 25 first-half points. He made all five first-half three point attempts. A sprained ankle kept him out of the game for a long stretch, but did nothing to diminish the memory of a great player playing a phenomenal game in a special place and getting an ovation from the home crowd.

Matt Tait

1. KU 84, North Carolina 66 (April 5, 2008, San Antonio): It would be hard to find anyone out there who thinks the Jayhawks have ever played a better half than their incredible beatdown of former KU coach Roy Williams on the biggest stage in the world. KU raced out to a 40-12 lead and, in doing so, looked like it could have beaten anyone in the world that night. The Memphis victory two nights later was obviously the one that delivered the 2008 national title, but I can’t recall a better half of basketball than this.

2. KU 64, Ohio State 62 (March 31, 2012, New Orleans): Maybe it was because Thomas Robinson had a way of making games feel this way or maybe it really was a slugfest. Either way, the 2012 Final Four match-up between the Jayhawks and Buckeyes was filled with as many huge possessions as I can remember. After a so-so first half, the Jayhawks trailed by nine at the break. But, behind 19 points from Robinson and seven blocks from Jeff Withey, KU rallied to win and advanced to its second national title game in five seasons.

3. KU 100, UAB 74 (March 26, 2004, St. Louis): Less than a week after watching Mike Anderson’s Blazers dismantle top-seeded Kentucky in the second round of the 2004 NCAA Tournament, all of the talk was about Anderson’s 40 minutes of hell defense and how it would eat you alive. Not Self and Kansas. During the week leading up to the Sweet 16 match-up, Self had his starting five practice against as many as eight players, a genius move that made even Anderson’s swarming and frantic style of defense seem like a breeze when the Jayhawks routed UAB in the Sweet 16.

4. Texas A&M; 69, KU 66 (Feb. 3, 2007): Both teams were 6-1 in Big 12 play and ranked in the Top 10 nationally. ESPN was in town for the Saturday night showdown, which always makes games seem even bigger than they already are, and, KU got strong efforts from seven players who made up the core of its national championship team one year later. However, despite leading by 10 points with 6:33 to play, a man named Acie Law IV made the last of so many big plays in this all-out war, giving the Aggies the victory, the first for a Big 12 South team in Allen Fieldhouse in league history.

5. Duke 68, KU 61 (Nov. 23, 2011, Lahaina, Hawaii): It was so early in the season and, in the grand scheme of things, it really didn’t matter, but this game, even though it was a loss for the Jayhawks, paved the way for their magical season that ended in the national championship game. Jeff Withey showed grit, toughness and blood, Thomas Robinson, with 16 points and 15 rebounds, did what he did 27 times in 39 games during his stellar junior season and Bill Self coached his butt off. It may have been a November game in a tiny gym, but it had the feel of a Final Four clash.

Jesse Newell

1. KU 75, Memphis 68, OT (April 7, 2008, San Antonio): For my list, I’m going with the most entertaining games, and this one was so dramatic that it ran as an “ESPN Instant Classic” the very next day. No shot in all of Self’s years will be remembered more than Mario Chalmers’ “miracle” at the end of regulation.

2. KU 87, Missouri 86, OT (Feb. 25, 2012): After a huge pregame buildup, this game still managed to exceed all expectations. The largest blast of noise I’ve ever heard at the fieldhouse came following Thomas Robinson’s block of MU’s Phil Pressey with 2 seconds left in regulation to send the game to overtime. Fun fact: Robinson had just two more blocks the rest of the season in his final 10 games.

3. KU 81, Oklahoma State 79 (Feb. 27, 2005): Simply an amazing shooting performance ... by both teams. Wayne Simien (32 points) and OSU’s John Lucas (made first nine field goals) traded blows until the final possession, when Lucas missed a stepback three as time expired. Self and Simien’s screaming postgame celebrations still make every KU pregame highlight video.

4. KU 70, Georgia Tech 68, OT (Jan. 1, 2005): After Georgia Tech eliminated KU in the Elite Eight the year before, Jayhawk fans were amped when given the opportunity for payback the next season. Keith Langford provided the game-winner, creating for himself on a turnaround jumper from the elbow with 2 seconds left in overtime. When asked about the game two years later, Self called it “maybe the best atmosphere in the fieldhouse since I’ve been here.”

5. Duke 68, Kansas 61 (Nov. 23, 2011, Lahaina, Hawaii): Stick two powerhouse fanbases in a crowded, high-school-size gym in Maui, and you end up with one of the best sports environments I’ve experienced. The game remained entertaining until the end, when unlikely hero Tyler Thornton put in an off-balance, high-arching three with 20 seconds left that gave Duke a five-point lead. One of the lasting memories will be just how hard Self and Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski were riding their players — and the officials — in a nonconference game played in November.


Jesse Johnson 3 years ago

Yeah, I can't believe he's the only one included the win over reigning/eventual NC Florida. Of course I'm biased because I was there.

Kevin Huffman 3 years ago

His 1, 1A, 2 & 3 are good....4 & 5 are pretty lame.

actorman 3 years ago

I don't think it's fair to say that picking the game against Florida is lame because that was a very entertaining game and KU pulled off the upset, but I definitely wouldn't include the Davidson game, as that was a grind-it-out affair that was difficult to watch and which KU was lucky to survive.

Jim Roth 3 years ago

Gary cheated and picked 6! Take out Davidson, and he's spot on.

Cmill1221 3 years ago

Gary got it right. I can't choose between the border war game and the 08 championship. I think I screamed the loudest during the Championship game but that may be because I had to change the channel at the end of regulation vs MU for feat I may have a Heart Attack/Stroke.

One underrated game for me was the Oklahoma game at Home where KU had a huge comeback with Wayne and CO. That was when OU still had good teams and it was one of Bill selfs first come from behind wins that he is now known for. I kept looking on YouTube hoping to find a 6sports flashback or highlights from that game. Maybe not top 5 worthy but definitely an honorable mention.

Cmill1221 3 years ago

Corrections: Fear** not feat and it was 06 with Brandon rush as a freshman. Not the sr year for Wayne Simien.

Jonathan Allison 3 years ago

yes, the OU game in '05 was a very good game! Not top 5 because the game was kinda sloppy with little offense, but a great comeback and the first of many.

Marcus Balzer 3 years ago

Ask and ye shall receive. Such an underrated game in the Self era. OU was tough that year with Bookout and Gray.

oldalum 3 years ago

Thanks. How can it still be nerve wracking when you know how it ends.

KUFan90 3 years ago

Made my list before reading anyone else's and it matched Gary exactly.

Although I didn't cheat and add the Florida game as #6, but I do agree with that one as well. ; )

Jim Erickson 3 years ago

Matt Tait and Tom Keegan just lost their invitation to my birthday party... Our friendships can be rebuilt over time, but not picking the Memphis game first has left me with a deep wound.

Let's hope Jesse and Gary are fun to party with.

stinkybulldog 3 years ago

Matt Tait's picks are way off mark. At least Keegan had the title game listed in his top 5.

actorman 3 years ago

Yeah, it's unfathomable how Matt could leave that game off his list. Under what criteria would it not qualify?????

Geezer 3 years ago

2008 Big XII Tournament title game with Texas should be on somebody's list. That game was amazing.

Jeff Coffman 3 years ago

I'm not sure what matt is thinking. UAB, but not the championship or mu. Duke? We lost a game we should have won. I'm not sure how a good game by aliv even qualifies to be on the list.

Other notes

Wasn't the Baylor 100 point game the one that snapped our 3pointer streak?

Wouldn't you include about 10-15 Victoria over mu over some of these games listed above?

Mo Golany 3 years ago

KU Ohio St Final Four was a classic! No doubt about it!

tis4tim 3 years ago

One game that stands out in my mind is the March 3, 2008 senior night clash versus Texas Tech. No, it wasn't a competitive game, or a nail-biter or a game worth watching for the bulk of the national audience save for KU fans, but aside from the first half of the UNC final four game mentioned above, I've never watched a pasting quite like the 109-51 hurt we put on Pat Knight and gang.

In one of the great post-game quotes you'll hear from a coach, Knight said, "I feel like someone put a meat necklace around my neck and threw me into a lion's den."

Jonathan Allison 3 years ago

I considered that game as well. I don't think it could make the top 5 but it was a highly entertaining game. Fun to watch.

actorman 3 years ago

Another one in that category would be the one on the road when KU beat NU 92-39.

Kyle Rohde 3 years ago

Great list Jesse - I'm surprised you're the only one that put #3 and #4 on a list. #3 was simply a fantastically-played basketball game between two really good teams. And #4 was a crazy day - it was something like 75 degrees even though it was New Year's Day, so the Fieldhouse was stifling hot (or maybe it was because of the hangover from the night before), but what an amazing game. I was at KU from '01 through '05 and, when Keith hit that shot, it was the loudest I heard AFH during my time in Lawrence. What an incredible game.

Jonathan Allison 3 years ago

The Georgia Tech game was an incredible atmosphere. It would definitely make my top 5. I think that GT was a top 10 team at the time and KU was without Simien. GT led the entire game until the last 2 minutes or something like that.

actorman 3 years ago

I watched that game in a sports bar in Oakland that was very quiet (and with no other KU fans there); with the way I was reacting, people looked at me like I was insane.

KansasComet 3 years ago

Lots of home games and neutral site games on the list. All of the games mentioned are great. Some of the better games to me are the true road wins in an opponents gym. I hope this will be another category later on in the series?

Kevin Huffman 3 years ago

Yeah, last year's Iowa State win would be up there more if not for all the backlash due to the Elijah/Niang controversial end.

KansasComet 3 years ago

It was a great game and a stunning comeback. Iowa State was lights out from 3 and EJ had the game of his career. Great road win.

Bryce Landon 3 years ago

Yeah, if Niang hadn't been flopping and all the Iowa rubes didn't feel it necessary to go KKK on EJ.

VaJay 3 years ago

Best chunks of games:

  1. Last two minutes of the KU-Memphis final. I was stunned we had that much luck and gumption. I KNEW we were going to lose that game with 2 min left, then again, I KNEW we would win it in OT. I'm glad I was half right.
  2. The first half of the UNC game when seemingly everything UNC was putting up was getting swatted away & taken down the court for dunks. Never seen a team so shell-shocked. I even enjoyed hearing Billy Packer saying "It's ova" with 5 min left in the first half.
  3. Not one moment of the Davison game until they missed the three - then the look
    on Coach Self's face at that moment was priceless.

actorman 3 years ago

Yeah, I said above that the Davidson game shouldn't have been included, but you make a good point about Self's reaction. That alone almost makes it worth including; it's definitely the most memorable reaction from Self in his time at KU.

Kevin Huffman 3 years ago

To me this one's a no-brainer.

The one that Bedore lists as No. 2, Keegan lists as 3, Tait lists as 1 & Newell doesn't even bother to list is EASILY No. 1!!!!!

Jonathan Allison 3 years ago

300 victories to choose from and Tait picks two losses in his top 5 games? To me, a if the Hawks lose, that is not a good game, no matter how well we played against expectations, or how highly competitive the game may have been. Only way I could make an exception, maybe if it were a 6 overtime thriller or something along those lines.

texashawk10 3 years ago

The only loss I included in my honorable mentions was the 2011 Texas game the day after T-Rob's mom died.

Jonathan Allison 3 years ago

you're right Ralster. I change my mind. No game that KU loses should be included in a best KU game list. Even if KU took the Miami Heat into 6 OTs, and lost Universal Championship by 1 point because everyone fouled out except for the coaches sons.

chriz 3 years ago

I seem to remember KU vs. Texas in the Big 12 title game in '08 being pretty incredible.

Kansas Jayhawks vs. Texas Longhorns - Recap - March 16, 2008 - ESPN

I think this would've been somewhere in my top 5.

Josh Galler 3 years ago

there are so many good games I would have 3 different categories Top 5 post season/in-season Tourney games, Top 5 non-con games and top 5 con games. Then choose top 5 games of all time. There are so many games.

Jason Spangler 3 years ago

Thank God for Tait picking some games in which KU actually lost. Let's be honest. In the Bill Self era KU has lost more big time games than they have won. Good to see some writers actually being honest.

KGphoto 3 years ago

"Let's be honest. In the Bill Self era KU has lost more big time games than they have won.”

Uh, no. Or perhaps my sarcasm sensors need a cleaning.

texashawk10 3 years ago

Your troll radar needs to be tweaked KG.

Seth Nesmith 3 years ago

Tait should be fined for not listing the Missouri game. Unbelievable!!!!!

Matt Tait 3 years ago

It was a great comeback but not a great game overall. The first 25-30 minutes were almost entirely one-sided.

Kevin Huffman 3 years ago

Um, I don't know that KU didn't play well in that 1st half. EVEN Mizzou fans were a bit baffled at 2 of the fouls called on T.Rob in that 1st half, wherein I want to say we had to sit BOTH him & Withey for about the final 3-4 mins. of that 1st half (had Wesley in there at the end of the 1st half!!!)

johnsont1 3 years ago

if you're a basketball player, the only thing that defines a good game is 1) a win and 2) how important that win was.

championhawks 3 years ago

Yet your #1 game is KU vs. UNC where it was 40-12 in the first half?

This comment shows that you don't even believe that game was a great game... 40-12 is pretty one-sided to me.

JS82 3 years ago

I was lucky enough to be at the last KU/MUgame. I have attended lots of sporting events like World Series, playoff games etc. in person but that was the best environment I have ever been a part of. It was a roller coaster of emotions in one game. Obviously winning the National Championship is #1 but I will never forget the energy in Allen Field House that day.

Kevin Huffman 3 years ago

Probably the single block that I'll remember the most. T.Rob's as regulation ended.

championhawks 3 years ago

I was there too... Absolutely the best environment I have ever seen at a sporting event, and I went to many great games at AFH as a student.

Cameron Cederlind 3 years ago

Neither of last years Iowa St./KU games from OT? KU vs MU OT Feb 25th and KU vs Iowa St OT Feb 25th, my birthday offers some fantastic games.

Kevin Huffman 3 years ago

Awful if you don't linclude KU/UNC Final Four Game.

Doesn't have to be "close", hard to argue that they had a game that they've ever played better. Even with the last 2 mins. or so and first 10-12 mins. of the 2nd half "brain farting". :)

And while there was intensity in No. 3 and I liked it too. There was some just downright AWFUL offense in that game from both teams too.

actorman 3 years ago

Why not??? It's not like they're putting a KU loss to Misuse on the list. Beating Misuse is always a great thing ...

ahpersecoachingexperience 3 years ago

Wasn't there an @ Baylor game (maybe gameday or big Monday) recently where they were highly ranked and we went in and kicked them in the face?

3 years ago

I am fortunate to have attended every game on these lists except the Duke game in Maui!

texashawk10 3 years ago

My #1 is the 2008 national title game vs. Memphis and I'm surprised that's not #1 on everyone's list and even more surprised Matt left it off his completely.

My #2 is the 2012 Missouri game at AFH. I don't know that I've ever heard AFH louder than when T-Rob made the block to send the game to OT. And yes that probably was a foul, but if the refs had made the right calls in both Border War games that season, KU wins in Columbia and Missouri wins in Lawrence. I like how it actually played out better and would've loved to have seen the rubber match for the tournament title.

My #3 is the 2010 senior night game against KSU. That was my last game as a student at KU and KU just kicked the crap out of KSU while both teams were in the top 5 that night. Sherron's speech after the game too was one of the highlights of my time as a student at KU.

My #4 is the 2008 UNC game. That was absolutely the best half of basketball I've ever seen, but I Thought KU was going to lose when UNC cut the lead to 4, but KU showed the heart of champions and pulled back away down the stretch.

My #5 is the 2006 game against Florida in Vegas. KU had already suffered an embarrassing home loss to ORU and I thought there was no way KU was giung to take down the defending champs that night, but it was a great game between two great teams.

texashawk10 3 years ago

Some honorable mention games.

2012-13: @Ohio St., both regular season ISU games, the Okie Stm game in Stillwater.

2011-12: Both Ohio St. games, the first two Baylor games, all of the NCAA tournament games.

2010-11: USC and Texas. The heart that KU showed against rexas the night after T-Rob's mom died was made me beyond proud to be a Jayhawk and even with the entire team playing on no sleep, the effort they put forth was something to be proud of.

2009-10: The OT KSU game in Bramlege.

2007-08: Baylor and Davidson

2006-07: Texas (both games)

2005-06: Kentucky

2004-05: New Year's Day OT game at Georgia Tech, Kentucky at Rupp

2003-04: David Padgett shutting down the Hearne Center.

actorman 3 years ago

Good call on KU winning the last game at Hearne; I'd forgotten about that one.

Steve Gantz 3 years ago

One correction, Georgia Tech was in AFH I'm quite sure.

As far as your best half of basketball statement, that might be true, but 5 years before we beat a DWade led Marquette team 59-30 at the half in the Final Four. Of course going back a few years the first half against Oklahoma that ended 50-50 is the gold standard for exciting halfs of basketeball. Of course maybe you didn't see those games, so I have no problem with you saying the 08 UNC game was the best, and it indeed was great to watch!

texashawk10 3 years ago

UNC was a far better team than DWade's Marquette, and giving up 50 points in a half doesn't equal best half, exciting yes, but not best. UNC was the best combination of quality opponent, KU's offense, and KU's defense all playing well.

Steve Gantz 3 years ago

The Marquette first half was every bit as impressive as the UNC game. Marquette had a future hall of famer and a forward who's still in the NBA. My opinion but that Marquette team was very good.

Kevin Huffman 3 years ago

k, I already posted my top 1...Now I've gotta' give my Top 5.

  1. = '08 Final Four win over UNC. Pretty much a DOMINANT 25-26 mins. for KU....first 18 mins. and last 6 - 8 mins. 40-12 says it all!!! Then seldom used Aldrich DOMINATING over Hansbrough was AWESOME!!!

  2. = '08 Champ. Game

  3. = final reg. season win over Mizzou in Lawrence (Especially since we lost in Columbia in a down-to-the-wire game earlier)

  4. = '07 reg. season win over Texas when they had Durant when we had to make a SERIOUSLY CRAZY comeback.

  5. = Big XII title win over Texas in '08 I know where Mario & Brandon both had HUGE scoring games particularly from 3.

KGphoto 3 years ago

Wow! Matt, you really jumped out of the box on this one. LOL. I don’t even remember playing UAB.

Jason Spangler 3 years ago

The game in Columbia that MU won was better than the game at Allen. Let's be honest. TRob folded the snot out of that dude. KU is lucky they won the game.

texashawk10 3 years ago

And if the refs did their job in the game in Columbia, KU wins that one so don't complain about the T-Rob call unless you can admit KU got screwed in Columbia on that BS charge call.

VegasHawk55 3 years ago

Very surprised not to see the OK State or ISU road games from last season on this list. Big 12 title was on the line in both of those games and KU pulled out incredible victories in both. My 5 1)KU vs Memphis 2008 2)Missouri at KU 2012 3)KU vs UNC 2008 4)KU at OK State 2013 5)KU vs Cornell (2009-2010) Sherron saved KUs home win streak single handily with 30+ points.

brilark23 3 years ago

I always thought one of our best games was in 2010 vs Temple. Obviously not a ton on the line but a great gamed played by the Jayhawks.

jaybate 3 years ago

I am staggered no one listed beating interim KSU Head Coach Bruce Weber this past season. I mean, that was one of the sweetest victories I ever tasted!!!!

I would even go so far as to say that if Bruce Weber outlasts Bill Self (i.e., if Bill gets bored and retires or jumps to the L), then Jerrance Howard ought to be hired as KU's head coach specifically to beat Bruce Weber just for the sheer fun of watching Bruce Weber get beat by his former assistant. But I digress.

All victories over Roy by definition have to be on the list.

The '08 defeat of Memphis' SAT-optional team is tops.

P.S.: All beatings of Rick Barnes back when Butcher Barnes still seriously entertained being better than Self should probably go on the list, even if only in footnotes. :-)

P.P.S.: The Miracle on Naismith Drive in the last game against Fizzou deserves to be on the list, but I am very much for eliminating all references to Inferior U from the KU Legacy hence forth, so I choose not to include that game. I am so grateful to the basketball gods for putting as much distance between KU and Inferior U via realignment driven to sub-optimize TV revenues that I do not want to risk offending the gods by ever mentioning Inferior U again. :-)

jaybate 3 years ago

Another game that everyone is overlooking is the dream of a life time game of the KU legends that came back in which Super Mario iced it with a deja vu trey at the buzzer; that photo of Pierce and Mario hugging is as important to me as any of the great wins in real games. That game was REALLY what the KU basketball legacy is all about. Sure, without the great coaches and total number of wins and the national championships, such a game would not have mattered so much to me. But the KU basketball legacy of the last century and some years telescoped into that legends game in a magical, transcendent way that never gets old. Maybe you have to be out on the short end of the life expectancy to hold the legends game so dear, but it was the absolute pinnacle of KU basketball to me. It was the living legacy materialized once. It was so perfect. KU won and KU lost simultaneously, and so revealed that the essence of the living myth transcends both.

"Don't let it be forgot, that once there was a spot, for one brief shining moment that was known as Camelot."

wrwlumpy 3 years ago

IU "inferior university" is long gone and the KC area has forgotten all about the SEC whipping boys. So why, if they are long gone and in another conference do they show up at fashionable brookside parties wearing shirts like this?

jaybate 3 years ago


You are always onto something fascinating.

This photo is worth a thousand words about Inferior U.

It is emblematic of a group of persons lacking the insight to know just how repulsively they truly appear.

Honestly, I destest Al Qaeda, and if Inferior U had joined Al Qaeda, I would feel bad for Al Qaeda.

Actually, that's not a bad idea...

We could bring all the boys and girls home and just infect Al Qaeda with Inferior U folks and Al Qaeda would never be a threat to prevail at anything!

No, wait, we can't do that; then Al Qaeda would try to join the SEC and I wouldn't wish Al Qaeda even on the SEC. :-)

Krohnutz 3 years ago

So letme get this straight... Everbody not named Gary Bedore put another game ahead of the 2008 title game?

And Baylor vs. KU in a regular season game against what turned out to be a typical talent-laden Drew team of underachievers makes anybodies top five?

Krohnutz 3 years ago

Sorry, Jesse had it #1 too. My bad. I was still in shock at Baylor vs. KU in a romp that I blacked out.

Joe Ross 3 years ago of Kansas' best games with absolutely nothing riding on the outcome.

Joe Ross 3 years ago

Florida Gulf Coast received instruction for "Dunk City" by watching film of this game.

KGphoto 3 years ago

As long as we are into dunkathons...

Villanova says hi.

That team has to hold the all-time record for ally-oops in a season.

Jonathan Allison 3 years ago

that baseline drive by Shady was sweet. I didn't know that he could do that!

actorman 3 years ago

I'm surprised about one game that no one's brought up that definitely deserves honorable mention: the game at OU when Sherron and the OU guy (I forget his name) traded threes down the stretch, with each of Sherron's threes being from farther and father out. The last one was halfway between the arc and center court. It was truly a shooting exhibition for the ages, worthy of Durant or Curry or any of the other greats.

texashawk10 3 years ago

That was supposed to be a pretty high profile game because the Big 12 regular season title was basically on the line in that one, but Blake Griffin missed the game because of a concussion and that took a lot of luster off the game and probably was the reason why KU won their 5th straight title that season.

actorman 3 years ago

I forgot about Griffin not playing, and you're right, that definitely took off some of the pregame excitement. But that shooting battle should have at least warranted a mention.

Steve Gantz 3 years ago

KU-Memphis, how could that not be #1 on anyones list?

Several listed us losing to Duke. An awful game with TT's turnovers, one of which, his last at a crucial time was actually caused by a Dukie tripping him, no call of course and the worst missed travel call in the history of travel calls. Should've been in last weeks most painful losses list.

Losing to AM in the fieldhouse baffles me too. Great game I guess, but a loss to end a long losing streak.

I did like Keegan including KU 100-Baylor 90 except he omitted the most amazing aspect of that game. We scored 100 points without a three pointer made all night!

Tied for 6th are all the other victories since he's been here since all KU wins are great!

Steve Gantz 3 years ago

Should have proofed my post. "But a loss to end a long losing streak" should have said 'But a loss to end a long home court winning streak should not be celebrated'.

Bryce Landon 3 years ago

My top 5:

1) Kansas 75, Memphis 68 OT (2008) - A national title was won here. That alone makes it #1 2) Kansas 64, Ohio State 62 (2012) - KU trailed almost the entire game, only to grind out the win in the end and advance to the finals 3) Kansas 80, North Carolina 68 (2012) - Better than the 2008 game. Just like with Oklahoma in 1988, Kansas ran with North Carolina for the first 20, then slowed the game down in the second 20 and ultimately wore the Tar Heels out. 4) Kansas 84, North Carolina 66 (2008) - The first 15 minutes of the game was the best basketball KU played all year as they went ahead 40-12 to start. 5) Kansas 87, Missouri 86 OT (2012) - Kansas ends the Border War the right way.

Others considered: Kansas 81, Oklahoma State 79 (2005); Kansas 73, Kentucky 46 (2006); Kansas 59, Oklahoma 58 (2006); Kansas 82, Florida 80 OT (2006); Kansas 90, Texas 86 (2007); Kansas 88, Texas 84 OT (2007); Kansas 81, Kansas State 79 2-OT (2010); Kansas 78, Ohio State 67 (2011)

CHEEZIT 3 years ago

What, no K-State games? Oh that's right, most of them weren't even close!

texashawk10 3 years ago

You tell us after KU sweeps KSU yet again next season.

wyansas 3 years ago

The overtime game at KState in 2010 was a barn burner. Surprised that one didn't make any lists. College Gameday was at Bramledge if I recall correctly. Big game that totally delivered.

Ben Simonett 3 years ago

As usual, Keegans list is the most rediculous

REHawk 3 years ago

KU over Memphis, 2008. Self's best win EVER, anywhere he has coached.

Lance Hobson 3 years ago

You absolutely have to include the 2012 win over UNC to get to the Final 4, that was an incredible game and finish.

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