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Posts tagged with Border War

The team KU fans love to hate brings best out of Allen Fieldhouse

Fans in the student section swing towels as the Jayhawks take the court on Saturday, Dec. 11, 2021, at Allen Fieldhouse.

Fans in the student section swing towels as the Jayhawks take the court on Saturday, Dec. 11, 2021, at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

Allen Fieldhouse was built for games like this.

During the nine full seasons that Kansas went without facing its historical rival from across the state line, seldom did the name of an opponent alone drum up the type of atmosphere that makes college basketball, and this venue in particular, memorable. Outside of Kentucky running onto James Naismith Court to face the Jayhawks, nothing sets a KU home crowd off quite like Missouri.

Thanks to time healing some old SEC exit wounds, KU basketball versus Mizzou returned from its nine-year hiatus on Saturday. And KU’s fans ate up every second of it.

Between the pandemic diminishing crowds to more of an afterthought status for a full season and the renewal of the Border Showdown happening in Lawrence instead of Columbia, Missouri, the scene actually lived up to the hype — even if the 102-65 rout robbed it of drama or status as an all-time classic.

As much as senior Ochai Agbaji, junior Christian Braun and sophomore Dajuan Harris and their teammates deserve credit for executing on the floor, even Bill Self admitted the 16,300 in attendance deserved an assist for setting the tone. Self acknowledged that the maniacs who spent the afternoon jumping and screaming and occasionally yelling not so PG things at the Tigers actually had a lot to do with the Jayhawks’ energy and focus.

“It was great to start,” Self said of the Border Showdown’s return. “The crowd was amped and we were amped. Great atmosphere. We played extremely well, so that made it more fun — at least for us.”

This was a two-hour long party if you showed up wearing crimson and/or blue.

Though the game lacked entertainment value for any neutral observer tuning in on ESPN, it had everything KU fans who love to hate Mizzou had been missing all these years.

KU’s student section was littered with signs like, “Mizzou Hates Christmas.” The rabid fans got to jeer a Tigers coach for the first time in nearly a decade, and delighted in watching Cuonzo Martin get whistled for a technical foul.

And as loud as they got to erupt following a 3-pointer from Harris or Agbaji or Braun’s hammer dunk in the first half, they also got to boo their hearts out. When a replay on the video board showed that Mizzou big man Jordan Wilmore gave a get-off-me arm extension in the general direction of Mitch Lightfoot’s head, the fans showered their rivals with boos, and then got to celebrate the technical foul that followed.

The game turned into the type of bloodbath that ravenous, KU-loving, Mizzou-loathing fans live for. They got to revel in the Tigers’ misfortunes. The student section got to swoon for mulleted cult hero walk-on Chris Teahan with minutes left in the second half instead of seconds. And they got to explode when super-senior Teahan released a pure 3-pointer to put KU over the century mark.

Agbaji, Bruan and Harris said they never had heard the fieldhouse as loud as it was Saturday.

“You play off of it,” Agbaji said of the impact the mob had on the Jayhawks. “But coach was talking to us, you kind of already have that energy going into the game, even in warmups. So you kind of have to find that happy medium of being composed and having the energy, playing with energy.”

KU’s fans and students don’t have to worry about finding that equilibrium. And both Agbaji and Braun expressed their appreciation for the raucous student section in particular.

Braun said: “Some of those students camped out for a week to watch us play. So they’re passionate. We’ve got to give them something in return. We appreciate that and all that they do for us, so that passion and energy was matched.”

This rivalry is so good that a game that didn’t even count in October of 2017 — an exhibition inside then-Sprint Center, in Kansas City, Mo. — had the vibes of a battle in late February.

Now the games count again. And Kansas, Missouri and college basketball are better for it.

And the KU fan base can once again scratch that notorious black and gold itch.

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Rivalry with Missouri means as much to KU’s Christian Braun as it does to fan base

Kansas guard Christian Braun (2) reacts after being fouled by St. John's forward Aaron Wheeler (1) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Friday, Dec. 3, 2021, in Elmont, N.Y. Kansas won 95-75. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

Kansas guard Christian Braun (2) reacts after being fouled by St. John's forward Aaron Wheeler (1) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Friday, Dec. 3, 2021, in Elmont, N.Y. Kansas won 95-75. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

Prepare yourself for even more snarls and swagger from Kansas junior Christian Braun. He won’t be able to hold back. Not with that black and gold he knows all too well in his line of sight.

To say that Saturday’s Border Showdown revival means more to Braun than most current players on either side of the college basketball state line is an understatement. While the 6-foot-7 guard from Burlington, like all of his KU teammates, has never faced the Jayhawks’ old conference rivals, Braun has spent most of the 20 years of his life embedded in the rivalry.

Braun is the rare KU player who might actually look at Missouri with the same disdain as many of the Jayhawks’ crazed fans. So much so that Braun’s passion for the rivalry couldn’t be concealed when he spoke with reporters on Thursday.

“I’m proud to wear Kansas, and I’m going to be proud to get this win on Saturday,” Braun said.

Already playing the best basketball of his career (16.8 points and 7.1 rebounds per game, 62.8% shooting), and doing so while successfully toeing the line between confidence and cockiness, that brazen approach will only intensify against the Tigers. And he has his family to thank for that.

His mother, Lisa, was a three-time All-Big Eight basketball player at Missouri. His uncle, Mike Sandbothe, played basketball for Mizzou. So did his aunt, Lori Sandbothe.

“They don’t really let me stop hearing about it, to be honest. My uncle Mike talks about himself all day,” a grinning Braun reported.

So when Braun says this particular game means “a lot” to him, he’s not overselling it.

He ended up on the crimson and blue side of the rivalry thanks to his dad, Donny, a former KU walk-on who would eventually transfer to Saint Louis.

“Me and my dad were always kind of on the other side. But I always tell people, I was always on the winning side,” Braun said. “So it feels good to be a winner. That’s why I chose here. I never really looked over in Mizzou’s direction, even though my brother was there.”

That’s right. Even his brother, Parker, wanted to play at Mizzou. At least for a few years. Parker, who was a walk-on with the Tigers, this past offseason transferred to Santa Clara. But Braun doesn’t think playing against his brother this year would have made the rivalry game more fun. He said he’s happy for Parker, now a starter with the Broncos, instead of a backup with the Tigers.

Braun said his brother learned a lot from Mizzou coach Cuonzo Martin, and credited Martin with helping Parker grow as a person.

And then Braun’s inner Jayhawk got the best of him.

“They’re playing really good basketball over there (at Santa Clara), and that’s something (Parker) hasn’t seen,” a smirking Braun added, not missing an opportunity to take a jab at the Tigers. (Santa Clara is 7-3, and during the three years — one as a redshirt — Parker was at Mizzou, the Tigers were 15-17, 15-16 and 16-10.

Braun was asked if Parker will be cheering for his KU-loving brother in the rivalry game.

“Oh, absolutely,” he responded, almost appalled by the question.

In fact, Braun said all of his aunts and uncles and family members will be on his side of the border rivalry for this matchup.

“There’s no question. They’re all Kansas fans now that I’m here.”

He then suppressed a laugh, while adding: “We kind of give them something to cheer for.”

Though the KU-Mizzou rivalry disappeared for nine years for some, it didn’t for Braun.

“It never really died to me,” he said.

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Todd Reesing reflects on KU football’s remarkable 2007 run in new interview

Kansas quarterback Todd Reesing pulls back to fire a pass during the second half of the Border War Saturday, Nov. 24, 2007 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo.

Kansas quarterback Todd Reesing pulls back to fire a pass during the second half of the Border War Saturday, Nov. 24, 2007 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo. by Nick Krug

It’s been nearly a full decade since Kansas caught the college football world off guard, finishing the 2007 season with a 12-1 record and an Orange Bowl victory.

The Jayhawks’ quarterback at the time — the last exceptional QB to suit up for KU — Todd Reesing paid homage to that remarkable run in an interview with SB Nation’s Bill Connelly for a feature that focused on the unexpected rise of Kansas and rival Missouri that season.

Reesing reflected not only on an epic Border War that decided the winner of the Big 12 North at Arrowhead Stadium — a 36-28 Tigers victory — but also the path that led to it in the aptly titled article, “That time Missouri vs. Kansas was suddenly the rivalry of the year … in football.”

After Kansas obliterated non-conference opponents Central Michigan, Southeastern Louisiana, Toledo and Florida International in Sept. 2007, Reesing told SB Nation it was KU’s Big 12 opener, a 30-24 road victory over Kansas State, that established the Jayhawks as a legit threat that season.

"That was a place we hadn’t won at in 18 years. Our team had been historically poor on the road, poor in Manhattan, et cetera,” Reesing told Connelly. "Our offense was putting up pretty staggering points and yards and everything else, but everybody was saying, ‘Yeah, but they haven’t played anybody. That’ll change when they get to the Big 12.’ So to go up there and really not even have that great a day offensively — I think I threw three interceptions — but be able to show our grit in getting a late score on offense and a stop on defense ... that was really the point where everyone said, ‘We’ve got something here.’"

Reesing’s memory proved accurate. In that victory, which propelled KU into the top 25, he completed 22 of 35 passes for 267 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions.

He would experience far fewer struggles four weeks later, when the Jayhawks really began turning heads, with a 76-39 drubbing of traditional power Nebraska. Reesing went 30-for-41, with 354 passing yards and six touchdowns.

“I remember talking to a coach on the sideline and saying, ‘Hey, let’s try to score 100!’ They had beaten the pants off of Kansas for, what was it, 50 straight years before we beat them in 2005?" Reesing tried to recall. (It was 36, Connelly points out.) "And often by pretty lopsided margins. I thought we could get them one real bad whoopin’! That was one really enjoyable game to play. It was a beautiful day in Lawrence."

Since Reesing finished his KU career in 2009, the program has won three or fewer games every year.

This fall, third-year coach David Beaty and his 2017 Jayhawks aim to become the first KU team to win at least four games since the era of Reesing and former coach Mark Mangino.

— Check out the full article at SB Nation to read more from the perspective of Reesing, and his Missouri counterpart, Chase Daniel.

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Border War revival goes to Missouri softball — Tigers beat Jayhawks, 6-3

None by Benton Smith

Columbia, Mo. — A pair of bombs won the first Border War since Missouri left the Big 12 for the SEC in 2012.

Tigers Kirsten Mack and Angela Randazzo each smacked a two-run home run against longtime rival Kansas University in an NCAA Tournament regional at Mizzou's University field on Saturday afternoon.

Although Jayhawks sophomore Chaley Brickey hit a two-run homer of her own in the bottom of the seventh, Mizzou out-slugged KU and out-hit the Jayhawks, 13-7, to improve to 2-0 at the regional.

Kansas could get a rematch with the Tigers Sunday afternoon, but to do so, the Jayhawks will have to defeat Nebraska tonight at 8:25 in an elimination game.

In the first head-to-head meeting between the Jayhawks and Tigers since Mizzou left the Big 12 for the SEC, Kansas was the home team on the scoreboard for this afternoon's regional rivalry game.

Get the play-by-play from KU-Mizzou below.

STARTING LINEUPS

MISSOURI

CF TAYLOR GADBOIS

RF EMILY CRANE

3B SAMI FAGAN

DP ANGELA RANDAZZO

SS CORRIN GENOVESE

LF MACKENZIE SYKES

1B KELSEA ROTH

C KIRSTEN MACK

2B KELLI SCHKADE

LHP CASEY STANGEL

KANSAS

2B ASHLEY NEWMAN

RF LILY BEHRMANN

SS CHALEY BRICKEY

1B MADDIE STEIN

LF TAYLOR HATFIELD

3B CHANIN NAUDIN

C HARLI RIDLING

DP TAYLOR DODSON

CF TAYLOR MCELHANEY

RHP KELSEY KESSLER

TOP 1 — Mizzou

• Taylor Gadbois walks

• Gadbois out at 1B for leaving early

• Emily Crane singles to CF

• Crane steals 2B

• Sami Fagan doubles to deep LF; Crane thrown out at home plate — Taylor Hatfield to cut-off SS Chaley Brickey, to C Harli Ridling for the tag

• Angela Randazzo pops up to 2B

BOTTOM 1 — KU

• Ashley Newman grounds out to 1B

• Lily Behrmann pops up, foul, to 3B

• Chaley Brickey walks

• Maddie Stein chopper down 3B line turns into infield single

• Taylor Hatfield reaches on catcher's interference — bases loaded

• Chanin Naudin grounds out to 3B

AFTER 1 INNING, MIZZOU 0, KANSAS 0

TOP 2 — MIZZOU

• Corrin Genovese robbed of base hit — diving catch by CF Taylor McElhaney

• Mackenzie Sykes doubles off left field wall

• Kelsea Roth pops up, foul to C

• Kirsten Mack drills 2-run HR to LF

MIZZOU 2, KU 0

• Kelli Schkade pops up to shallow LF, where SS Chaley Brickey snags it

BOTTOM 2 — KU

• Harli Ridling grounds out to SS

• Taylor Dodson grounds out to SS

• Taylor McElhaney grounds out to P

AFTER 2 INNINGS, MIZZOU 2, KU 0

TOP 3 — MIZZOU

• Taylor Gadbois smacks line drive back at P Kelsey Kessler, reaches on infield single

• Emily Crane pops out to RF

• Gadbois steals 2B

• Sami Fagan pops up to SS

• Angela Randazzo RBI bloop single to LF, just over head of SS Chaley Brickey

MIZZOU 3, KU 0

• Corrin Genovese flies out to deep RF

BOTTOM 3 — KU

• Ashley Newman hard-hit grounder snagged by SS Corrin Genovese, who throws to 1B for the out

• Lily Behrmann grounds out to P

• Chaley Brickey walks

• Maddie Stein infield single off P Casey Stangel's glove

• Taylor Hatfield pops up to 2B

AFTER 3 INNINGS, MIZZOU 3, KU 0

TOP 4 — MIZZOU

• Mackenzie Sykes pops up to 3B

• Kelsea Roth walks

• [Sarah Moore pinch runs for Roth]

• Kirsten Mack grounds out to 3B

• Kelli Schkade pops up, foul to 3B

BOTTOM 4 — KU

• Chanin Naudin flies out to CF

• Harli Ridling grounds out to 2B

• Taylor Dodson grounds out to 3B

AFTER 4 INNINGS, MIZZOU 3, KU 0

TOP 5 — MIZZOU

• Taylor Gadbois flies out to LF

• Emily Crane singles up the middle

• Sami Fagan reaches on fielder's choice — 2B Ashley Newman opts for force out at 2B on grounder

• Angela Randazzo smacks 2-run HR down LF line

MIZZOU 5, KU 0

• Corrin Genovese lines single to LF

• [RHP Sophia Templin relieves KU starting P Kelsey Kessler]

• Mackenzie Sykes doubles to deep CF; Genovese thrown out at home plate — McElhaney throws to cut-off SS Chaley Brickey, C Harli Ridling holds on to ball after collision with Genovese

BOTTOM 5 — KU

• Taylor McElhaney singles up the middle

• Ashley Newman reaches on throwing E by P Casey Stangel

• Lily Behrmann grounder to 2B leads to fielder's choice, Newman out at 2B

• Chaley Brickey grounder to 3B turns into fielder's choice, Behrmann out at 2B; McElhaney scores

MIZZOU 5, KU 1

• Maddie Stein grounds out to 2B

AFTER 5 INNINGS, MIZZOU 5, KU 1

TOP 6 — MIZZOU

• {RHP Beth Wilson relieves P Sophia Templin]

• Kelsea Roth strikes out

• Kirsten Mack hit by pitch

• [Carlie Rose pinch runs for Mack]

• [Jordan Zolman pinch hits for Kelli Schkade]

• Zolman hits into inning-ending double play — 1B Maddie Stein to SS Chaley Brickey, to 2B Ashley Newman

BOTTOM 6 — KU

• Taylor Hatfield grounds out to 1B

• Chanin Naudin singles to LF

• Harli Ridling singles up the middle

• Taylor Dodson reaches on hard-hit grounder off glove of 2B Kelli Schkade — bases loaded

• Taylor McElhaney hits into inning-ending double play — SS Corrin Genovese to 1B Kelsea Roth

AFTER 6 INNINGS, MIZZOU 5, KU 1

TOP 7 — MIZZOU

• Taylor Gadbois strikes out

• Emily Crane grounds out to 2B

• Sami Fagan singles up the middle

• Angela Randazzo singles to CF

• Corrin Genovese RBI single to LF scores Fagan

MIZZOU 6, KU 1

• Mackenzie Sykes strikes out

BOTTOM 7 — KU

• Ashley Newman grounds out to 2B

• Lily Behrmann reaches on E by SS Corrin Genovese

• Chaley Brickey nails 2-run HR to LCF

MIZZOU 6, KU 3

• Maddie Stein strikes out

• Taylor Hatfield flies out to deep RF

FINAL: MIZZOU 6, KU 3

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