The game everyone wanted to see is set. Sunday, in Omaha, Nebraska, Kansas University and Wichita State will lock up in the first meeting between the two men's basketball programs since 1993.
KU opened as a 1.5-point favorite according to odds makers in Las Vegas. And here's a quick look back at the history of the KU-WSU college basketball series.
Kansas leads the all-time series against Wichita State, 12-2. The Jayhawks have won the last five meetings.
KU 65, Fairmount College 15, Dec. 18, 1908, Wichita: Phog Allen’s Jayhawks rolled to the road victory. The win upped KU’s record to 7-0 in a 25-3 season. Fairmount College was the predecessor to Wichita University and ultimately Wichita State.
KU 54, Wichita State 39, Feb. 3, 1941, Wichita: Allen’s Jayhawks, who went 12-6, won the road game to improve to 7-3. KU’s Ralph Miller, who played in the game, went on to coach 13 seasons at Wichita State.
KU 56, Wichita State 37, Feb. 2, 1942, Wichita: KU improved to 9-1 en route to a 17-5 record in Miller’s senior season at KU. The Jayhawks went 2-1 in the NCAA Tournament that year.
KU 56, Wichita State 55, Dec. 7, 1955, Wichita: KU prevailed by a single point in Game Two of a 14-9 season. It was the dedication night for WSU’s Roundhouse, which opened a few months after KU’s Allen Fieldhouse. The game pitted KU coach Allen against his former player, Miller in Allen’s final season at KU.
Wichita State 66, KU 65, March 20, 1981, New Orleans: Mike Jones hit a 25-footer for the game winner before 34,060 fans in the Louisiana Superdome. Some Shocker fans still wear T-shirts commemorating the victory in the Midwest Regional semifinals.
The Jayhawks led, 65-62, with :56 left when Darnell Valentine missed the front end of a one and one. Jones followed at :46 with a 25-footer (there was no three point line then) that cut the deficit to one. Valentine missed a breakaway layup, WSU holding for the final shot. Unable to get the ball inside, the Shockers settled for another 25 footer from Jones, which swished with :04 left. KU coach Ted Owens then called an innovative play, trying to draw a foul on a final inbounds pass.
Valentine set a pick on the baseline as Booty Neal ran behind the line preparing to inbound. WSU’s Jay Jackson ran into Valentine, but no foul was called. Neal called time out, then on the ensuing inbounds threw the ball out of bounds.
KU 79, Wichita State 69, Feb. 5, 1984, Lawrence: KU won the first game of a four-year series set up by ADs Monte Johnson of KU and Lew Perkins of WSU. One game would be held in Lawrence, one in Wichita, one in KC and one in a four-team tourney in KC. Larry Brown’s Jayhawks won the opener of the series in Allen in his first season as KU coach. That KU team went 22-10 and placed second in the Big Eight.
KU 90, Wichita State 83, Jan. 5, 1985, Kansas City: Brown’s second KU team, which went 26-8, and also placed second in the Big Eight with a freshman named Danny Manning, was led by Ron Kellogg, who cashed 30 points. WSU’s Xavier McDaniel had 29.
KU 81, Wichita State 56, Dec. 28, 1985, Kansas City: KU beat the Shockers in the final game of a tourney in KC in what became a Final Four season.
Wichita State 54, KU 49, Jan. 6, 1987, Wichita: KU did lose to WSU in Wichita during Manning’s junior season. The Shocker coach to pull off the victory in a game played at a snail’s pace? Eddie Fogler.
KU 86, Wichita State 66, Jan. 25, 1989, Lawrence: Roy Williams’ first KU team pounded WSU in the first game of a new home and home series with the Shockers. Right after that win, KU dropped eight league games in a row in a 19-12 season.
KU 93, Wichita Stae 66, Jan. 9, 1990, Wichita: That 1989-90 KU team, which went 30-5, blistered the Shockers. Roy Williams and his players were not happy about taunts from the crowd, which Williams considered a bit too mean-spirited.
“I think the people down here made a bigger deal out of this game than they should have,” said Jeff Gueldner, who had 17 points. He cashed five of seven three-pointers and also had eight assists, four rebounds and four steals. “Coach Williams just about had death threats,” Gueldner added. “To us it was a big game, like they all are.”
KU 84, Wichita State 50, Jan. 23, 1991, Lawrence: KU actually led by 25 in the first half in this one as Williams’ Final Four team, bolstered by the likes of Terry Brown, Mark Randall, Alonzo Jamison, etc., won big.
KU 81, Wichita State 51, Jan. 8, 1992, Wichita: This actually was the third-worst loss in WSU’s Levitt Arena. Adonis Jordan had a game-high 20 points and Richard Scott had 17.
KU 103, Wichita State 54, Jan. 6, 1993, Lawrence: KU’s Final Four team had no problem with WSU, the last game in series history quite the romp.