Kansas Men's Basketball Concludes Regular Season at Missouri

March 4, 2005

No. 7 Kansas claimed at least a share of its fifth Big 12 and 48th overall conference title with its win against Kansas State Wednesday. KU can win the league title outright with a victory at Missouri on Sunday at 1 p.m. on CBS in the Midwest Ford Border Showdown.

Scene Setter

Add another notch on the accolades of the Kansas senior class. With KU’s 72-65 win against Kansas State on Wednesday, the senior class of Keith Langford, Michael Lee, Aaron Miles and Wayne Simien won at least a share of their third Big 12 title in four seasons. For KU, the regular-season championship is its fifth Big 12 and 48th overall conference title. KU can win the league title outright with a victory at Missouri on Sunday at 1 p.m. in the new Mizzou Arena. For Big 12 Tournament seeding purposes, an Oklahoma State win against Texas on Saturday would guarantee KU the No. 1 seed for the tournament. Should OSU lose and Oklahoma win at Texas Tech and Kansas lose at Missouri, then KU would be the No. 2 seed. Missouri (14-15, 6-9) is looking to snap a two-game losing streak against Kansas. This will mark the 14th meeting this academic year for the Border Showdown between Kansas and Missouri in all sports. KU is the defending Border Showdown champion from last year and holds a 13.0 to 7.5 lead on MU heading into Sunday.

About Kansas
Kansas takes a two-game winning streak into its regular-season finale at Missouri. The Jayhawks upended then-No. 4 Oklahoma State 81-79 in a thriller last Sunday then won their 22nd straight Senior Day game with a 72-65 win versus Kansas State. Named to the Midseason Wooden Award watch list, senior Wayne Simien is coming off two career-best performances. Simien scored a career-high 32 points against Oklahoma State last Sunday then responded with 25 points and a career-high 20 rebounds against Kansas State. It marked only the seventh 20/20 in Big 12 history. Simien leads KU and the Big 12 in scoring at 19.5 points per game, including 20.9 ppg in Big 12 play. The Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year has recorded seven double-doubles in his last eight games and has a conference-leading 14 double-doubles this season. Also named to the Midseason Wooden Award watch list is senior Keith Langford, who is averaging 15.1 ppg overall — ranking 11th in the league — and 15.7 in Big 12 play. Sophomore J.R. Giddens is next in scoring at 10.1 ppg and ranks among the league leaders in three-point field goal percentage – eighth at .350 – and three-pointers made – tied for sixth a 2.15. Senior Aaron Miles has crushed every KU and Big 12 assists record and is averaging a league-best 7.38 per game. Last week, his 7.4 average ranked fourth in the nation. His 930 assists are 11th all-time in NCAA Division I history. Junior Christian Moody is another starter who is averaging 6.2 ppg and is second on the team with 4.7 rpg. Moody has pulled down six or more rebounds 10 times this season. Senior Michael Lee, who averages 4.1 on the season, has averaged eight points in his last two games.

Kansas Head Coach Bill Self
Kansas coach Bill Self won his fifth league title as a head coach on Wednesday. He won two titles at Tulsa, two at Illinois and at least a share of the 2005 Big 12 title at Kansas. Self recorded his 250th career win at Kansas State on Feb. 9. His win against Colorado on Feb. 12 marked Self’s seventh straight 20-win season as a head coach and his eighth overall. He is 46-13 in his second season at KU and 253-118 in his 12th season overall. Last year, KU posted a 24-9 record and finished tied for second in the Big 12 race at 12-4. KU advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament for the third straight year, falling to Georgia Tech in overtime, 79-71. Self’s 24 victories tied Dick Harp for the most wins by a KU coach in his debut season at Kansas. Prior to KU, Self led Illinois to two Big Ten titles and three straight NCAA Tournament appearances. Before Illinois, he guided Tulsa to two WAC championships in 1999 and 2000 and was The Sporting News National Coach of the Year in 2000. A four-time Naismith Coach of the Year Award finalist, Self began his coaching career at KU in 1985-86 and was an assistant at his alma mater – Oklahoma State – from 1986 until 1993. His first head coaching stint was at Oral Roberts where he guided the Golden Eagles to the NIT in 1996-97, their first postseason appearance since 1983-84. Self is 7-0 against Missouri.

About Missouri
Missouri (14-15, 6-9) has dropped two straight road games heading into Sunday. The Tigers lost at Texas 63-51 on Feb. 26 then lost at Iowa State 67-49 on Wednesday. Prior to the Texas game MU had won four straight which included a win versus No. 22 Oklahoma. MU is 13-4 in its first season in the Mizzou Arena. Sophomore Linas Kleiza leads the team in scoring at 14.9 ppg – good for 12th in the Big 12. Kleiza’s 7.3 rebound average is sixth in the Big 12 and first for the Tigers. Senior Jason Conley is next in scoring at 10.6 ppg. He is a threat from three-point range and has made 37.4 percent (40-107) from way out. Sophomore Thomas Gardner is next in scoring at 9.6 ppg. He leads MU with 45 three-pointers made this season. Freshman Jason Horton leads Missouri in assists with a 3.4 average to go along with his 6.2 ppg.

Missouri Head Coach Quin Snyder
Missouri’s Quin Snyder is in his sixth season as head coach at Mizzou. He has a 114-78 overall record and has guided the Tigers to postseason play – four NCAA Tournaments and one NIT – every season while in Columbia. Snyder is 3-10 against Kansas which includes a 3-5 mark in games played in Columbia.

KU-MU Series History
Kansas leads the all-time series with Missouri, 161-91… Last meeting saw the Jayhawks defeat the Tigers, 73-61 on Jan. 31, at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kan… KU is on a four-game winning streak against MU… KU coach Bill Self is 7-0 against the Tigers, and MU head coach Quin Snyder is 3-10 versus the Jayhawks… Kansas is 1,024-467 all-time against schools in the Big 12 Conference… KU is 61-51 versus Missouri when playing in Columbia, but has never played in the Mizzou Arena … The Jayhawks lost the first-ever meeting with the Missouri Tigers, 34-31, on March 11, 1907, in Lawrence.

Up Next
Kansas will participate in the ninth Phillips 66 Big 12 Tournament, March 10-13 at Kemper Arena in Kansas City, Mo. This will mark the final Big 12 tourney in Kemper Arena. Kansas won the first three Big 12 Tournaments, all in Kemper Arena. The Jayhawks have won seven total conference tournament titles.