Kansas to Host Border Showdown Foe Missouri Saturday in Men's Hoops

Feb. 16, 2006

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One of the most heated rivalries renews Saturday at 2:50 p.m. as Border Showdown foes Kansas (18-6, 9-2) and Missouri (11-11, 4-7) meet for the 255th time in men’s basketball. Both teams are coming off victories with Kansas winning its eighth straight game, 64-49, at Oklahoma State Monday. Missouri ended a six-game losing skid with a 74-71 win against Kansas State Saturday in Columbia, Mo.

About Kansas
One of the hottest teams in the nation, No. 22 Kansas has won a season-high eight straight games since losing at Missouri, 89-86, in overtime on Jan. 16. More impressive is that the Jayhawks are 15-2 in their last 17 games dating back to Dec. 10. On Monday, KU climbed into the national polls for the first time this season. Rookie guard Brandon Rush has led the Big 12 freshman class in scoring all season and continues the trend with a 14.3 scoring average, 13th overall in the league. In conference games, Rush’s 16.2 points per game rank ninth. Rush also leads KU and is 13th in the Big 12 in rebounding at 6.2 rpg. On Monday, freshman guard Mario Chalmers became only the second freshman in Big 12 history to be named the Phillips 66 Big 12 Player of the Week. Chalmers is averaging 10.7 points per game and leads the conference in steals at 2.67 per outing. His team-leading 4.13 assists per game are fifth in the league, just ahead of sophomore teammate Russell Robinson’s 3.75, which ranks eighth in the conference. Robinson is scoring 8.6 points per game. Sophomore Sasha Kaun leads the team in field goal percentage at 57.6 to go along with his 8.8 points per game. He is second on the team in rebounding with a 5.8 average, which is 14th in the Big 12. Kansas leads the nation in field goal percentage defense at 36.2 percent and also leads the conference in assists at 18 per game. The Jayhawks are outscoring foes 76.4 to 60.8.

About Missouri
Missouri snapped a six-game losing streak with a 74-71 win against Kansas State last Saturday. The Tigers (11-11, 4-7) have lost four straight road games and are 1-7 away from Mizzou Arena this season. Junior guard Thomas Gardner leads the Big 12 in scoring at 19.8 points per game. He also leads the league in three-point field goals made with 3.41 per contest. Senior guard Jimmy McKinney is next in scoring at 12.6 points, good for 19th in the conference. He leads the team in free throw percentage as well at 80 percent. Senior center Kevin Young’s 7.6 rebounds per game are fourth in the Big 12 and he also leads MU with 18 blocked shots this season. Sophomore guard Jason Horton paces the team in assists at 4.48 per game – fourth in the league – and steals with a 1.71 average – ninth in the Big 12. Missouri averages 67.9 points per game and is giving up 70.1. The Tigers are celebrating their 100th year of men’s basketball in 2005-06.

Border Showdown
Today marks the 10th Kansas-Missouri meeting of the 2005-06 academic year in the annual Border Showdown presented by Midwest Ford Dealers. The winners of KU-MU head-to-head competition are awarded points. Currently, Kansas holds a slight advantage against Missouri, 8.5 to 7.0. Though the state rivalry dates back to the pre-Civil War era, the athletics rivalry started in 1891 with football and 1907 in men’s basketball. The Border Showdown trophy has been presented three times with Missouri winning in 2003 and 2005 and Kansas in 2004.

The Series
Kansas leads the all-time series with Missouri, 161-93. KU has won four of the last six meetings and nine of the past 12 match ups with MU. Missouri has won the last two meetings (both in Columbia) including 89-86 overtime victory on Jan. 16. Kansas is 81-33 against Missouri in Lawrence and 35-14 in Allen Fieldhouse. KU has won the last six matchups with Missouri in Allen Fieldhouse. Since the inception of the Big 12, KU holds a 14-8 series advantage – 12-7 in regular-season play and 2-1 in the conference championship. Today will mark the 33rd KU-MU game with one or both of the teams ranked. The Jayhawks lost the first-ever meeting with Missouri, 34-31, on March 11, 1907, in Lawrence.

Up Next
Kansas continues its home stand when it faces Baylor Tuesday, Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. The Baylor game will air on Jayhawk TV and ESPN Full Court. KU will then travel to No. 6 Texas on Saturday, Feb. 25. The KU-UT contest will air on ESPN with an 8 p.m. tip.