Okay - first of all and real quick! YAY for TOOJE's new button!!!!! She explains who made it up on her site today along with her Mumbles. Be sure to go check her out and I have to say that I COMPLETELY agree with her on her first Mumble (other than living on this side of the state line...because I like where I live and the school my kids go to and all that). There are some MU fans who really have a hard time with the whole sportsmanship thing (I realize some KU people, do, too...but like TOOJE, I rarely delve in and call the other side "uneducated" or a term on par with "gayhawks". It's unfortunate that it has to occur at all.
Now. Today, for my Mumbles, I am going to indulge a little bit in my status as a University of Kansas alum and Kansas Jayhawks basketball fanatic. TOOJE hosts the Mumbles each Monday, go check her (and her fancy button) out!
1. Unless you went to KU or MU, you probably don't have a real appreciation for this game. I would suppose that if you grew up in Missouri and Kansas, you probably have a secondary level appreciation for the game. There's just something about actually attending the school that adds a little bit of extra-special *something*. I doubt anything I say will help impress upon you how significant and important it was that KU won this game. EVERYTHING was on the line in this game, it seemed: Payback (for loss in Columbia just a three weeks before), The Big 12 title (and not wanting to share it), and the final hoo-rah in the match-ups between these two schools, Not wanting MU to have ANYTHING to take with it as it exited our conference and sold out for the $$$$. Yes, if the schools ever play again...it'll matter...but only a fraction of what it matters now.
2. Before I headed ^there^, I got my kiddos ready to rock our house watching the game. Vincent was ready! I am sure you can find cute shoes at Babies R Us for the game. And I headed out to get my Operation: Victory tee-shirt to wear, so that I would be ready!!! (These are my photos...)
3. Before the game, we took the long way around and walked through the hallowed hallways (my photos, too).
4. I was nervous before the game. Missouri was ranked ahead of us in the polls (they were AP #3 and we were AP #4) and I knew it would be a tough game because Missouri is really good. But KU is really good, too, and this was in Allen Fieldhouse. While I was nervous, I still expected a KU win...but I gotta remind you--we spoiled KU fans always expect to win.
However...this pic is worth 1000 words and I can relate:
Actually, I was standing up with my hands nervously over my mouth watching while my Jayhawks played a pretty bad first half. Our center got hurt early on and our guys just never got in rhythm. And defensively, I swear it seemed that KU must not have scouted this back-door play that MU kept running. It was maddening to watch!
4. But then...the last 14 minutes of regulation happened. Holy Moly! MU had come out firing on all cylinders in the second half. It was really rough to watch. But then...something happened. KU made a couple of three's and got a few stops and quickly the lead had been chopped from 19 to 13 and then 11. With just over 10 minutes to play, KU was back in the game! It took all of those 10 minutes for KU to catch up. KU's Player-of-the-Year candidate, Thomas Robinson made a shot and was fouled with about 12 or 14 seconds left in the game. He made the free-throw and KU made a defensive stand that sent the game into OT.
When the buzzer sounded to end regulation, I don't know if anyone could hear it. Allen Fieldhouse was louder than I have ever heard it and I have been to some killer games at AF. It. Was. Amazing.
5. Overtime was intense, but it stayed so loud in the fieldhouse. The lead changed hands a couple of times, but the important thing is...at the end of the OT, KU was up by 1 point. Lest my husband point out my bias against Tyshawn Taylor...YES, he was amazing! YES, I am proud to see him as the KU point guard, flaws and all. Because that dude is a competitor.
6. It was an incredible day and an incredible game! I had THE. BEST. TIME. EVER. at the game on Saturday.
7. I heard on the radio driving home that the only other time KU was down 19 in Allen Fieldhouse and came back to win was in 1995 against UCLA. And I was there for that one, too. Man, have I been blessed!!
8. KU has a short turnaround and has to play on the road on Big Monday. It's kind of a "trap" game and I hope they show up ready to play and clinch the Big 12 Title outright.
9. Oh...and did I mention? This is 8 Straight Big 12 Championships for KU? (photo provided by The University of Kansas Facebook Page)
10. Finally: This is one incredible, smart, hard-working, competitive guy! I am SO GLAD he is our coach!