Saturday, February 25, 2012
Tribute to the Jayhawks
So I grew up in Topeka, KS and always wanted to go to only one college: The University of Kansas. I went to basketball camp at KU in 1979 as a 3rd grader and then attended my first game at the historic Allen Fieldhouse the next year in 1980, watching star guard Darnell Valentine. For the last three seasons since our 20-yr. high school reunion, a number of my high school buddies (all of us in our 40s), make sure that we get to a couple games a year either down at the Fieldhouse or as we will this year in a couple of weeks, down at the Sprint Center in KC for the Big 12 tournament.
Well today was a special day for KU basketball in that the 105 year rivalry with the University of Missouri comes to an end. Today was the 267th meeting between the two schools, with a vitriol and hatred for one another that actually has its roots as far back as the Civil War when the confederate state of Missouri and its guerilla leader William Quantrill raided free state Kansas and its inhabitants in Lawrence, massacring many, including killing most of the town's men and boys (google Quantrill's Raid if you are interested in learning this history). Of course, the honest historian will also need to share that Quantrill's raid was a response to the anti-slavery Jayhawkers destroying the town of Osceola, MO, so that there was plenty of atrocity on both sides; thus, the intense rivalry that rages nearly 150 years later.
Next year Missouri has chosen to leave the Big 12 conference and go to the Southeast Conference, leaving behind one of the very best rivalries in all of college basketball. Today KU rallied from 19 pts. down to tie the game just before the end of regulation. KU went up by 1 point with 8.3 seconds left in overtime, and Missouri guard, Marcus Denmon, shot the ball with time expiring, making the basket (that would have won the game); however, the shot did not count since time had run out. KU wins 87-86 (http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/recap?gameId=320562305).
It's good to be a Jayhawk...