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Nine divine Mizzou wins

Look back at some of the Tigers' biggest victories against the Jayhawks

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  • Story by Ryan Gavin
  • Published: Feb. 3, 2012

As the final home game against the Jayhawks approaches, we look back at nine of our favorite victories against Kansas. With ESPN's College Gameday in town and the game featured on national TV, this last home game before Mizzou's move to the Southeastern Conference has all of the indicators of a classic Border Showdown battle.

The broadcast from Mizzou Arena starts at 9 a.m. on ESPNU (and at 10 a.m. on ESPN), and the game tips off at 8 p.m. Fans started lining up early Thursday morning with plans to camp out while they wait to see No. 4 Mizzou take on No. 8 Kansas for first place in the Big 12 Conference.

March 11, 1907: Missouri 34, Kansas 31 (Columbia, Mo.)

The basketball border series against the Jayhawks started with a 34-31 win in Columbia. Mizzou followed it up with a 34-12 beating the next day. Led by coach Isadore Anderson, the Tigers were victorious against Kansas' first coach and basketball inventor, James Naismith.


The 1907 Savitar identifies six of the seven players. In front are Bernet, Henley and Moore. In back on the far left is Gardner, and the two on the right are Ristine and Driver. Photo from the 1907 Savitar, page 17.

January 24, 1922: Missouri 35, Kansas 25 (Lawrence, Kan.)

Mizzou won the first of the two matchups but fell in Columbia, which led to a tie for the Missouri Valley Conference title with identical 15-1 records. In an effort to determine a champion, Missouri's conference committee on intercollegiate athletics challenged Phog Allen and the Jayhawks to a one-game playoff at a neutral site. Kansas refused to accept, as did the school's athletic board and chancellor. Kansas was retroactively awarded a Helms Foundation National Championship in 1936, though the validity of the title has been disputed. No national champions were officially crowned until 1938, which was when the NCAA Tournament started.


"Bun" Browning was one of the many standouts on Mizzou's '22 team. Photo from the 1922 Savitar, page 269.

March 11, 1961: Missouri 79, Kansas 76 (Columbia, Mo.)

Heated emotions from the controversial 1960 football season carried over into the 1961 basketball season. In a February loss in Lawrence, there was a bench-clearing brawl between the teams, and KU athletic director Dutch Lonborg suggested ending the rivalry after it happened. At the nationally televised rematch in Columbia, another fight broke out when Kansas' Wayne Hightower threw a punch after being fouled. Order was restored when the band started playing the national anthem.

Video from the 1961 matchup in Columbia.

February 11, 1987: Missouri 63, Kansas 60 (Columbia, Mo.)

Lee "Kansas Killa" Coward became a Mizzou hero in 1987. In Columbia, Coward hit a three pointer with two seconds left in the game to beat the Jayhawks. He followed that up in the title game of the Big Eight Tournament in Kansas City, Mo. With the scored tied at 65, Coward hit a game-winning shot with four seconds left to give the No. 19 Tigers the title.

Mizzou beats Kansas 63-60 at the Hearnes Center.

The Tigers beat the Jayhawks 67-65 to win the Big Eight title.

January 20, 1990: No. 4 Missouri 95, No. 1 Kansas 87 (Columbia, Mo.)

The rivalry took on added importance in 1990. Outside of the upcoming 2012 showdown, it was the only season in which Mizzou and Kansas were both ranked in the top 10 while playing each other. No. 4 Mizzou knocked off No. 1 Kansas in Columbia, and then in February, the No. 2 Tigers beat the No. 1 Jayhawks 77-71 in Lawrence.

Mizzou sweeps No. 1 Kansas in 1990 (skip ahead to 40 second mark.)

January 31, 1994: No. 20 Missouri 79, No. 3 Kansas 67 (Columbia, Mo.)

The Tigers won both in Columbia and in Lawrence (No. 12 Mizzou beat No. 4 Kansas 81-74) on the way to an undefeated season in the Big Eight Conference. Coached by Norm Stewart, the '94 squad is considered to be one of the best Mizzou teams ever.


Kelly Thames led the Tigers through battle against the Jayhawks. Photo by L.G. Patterson in the 1994 Savitar, page 167.

February 4, 1997: Missouri 96, No. 1 Kansas 94 in double overtime (Columbia, Mo.)

This classic game, one of the best finishes of all time, proves the adage that records don't matter when Mizzou and Kansas play. Undefeated and ranked No. 1 nationally, Kansas brought future NBA standouts Paul Pierce, Jacque Vaughn and Raef LaFrentz to the Hearnes Center against an unranked Tigers team. The lead changed hands continuously throughout the game, finally ending when Corey Tate hit a jump shot with just five seconds left in the second overtime. It was Kansas' only regular-season loss that year.

Mizzou hands No. 1 Kansas its only regular-season loss in double overtime.

January 16, 2006: Missouri 89, Kansas 86 in overtime (Columbia, Mo.)

Needing a miracle, Kansas' Christian Moody was on the foul line with just 0.4 seconds left and the score tied at 77. The Mizzou Arena prayers were answered as Moody missed both, sending the game to overtime. Thomas Gardner was too much for the Jayhawks in the extra period, giving Mizzou the win.

Announcers called the 2006 overtime game at Mizzou Arena one of the loudest they had ever experienced in more than 25 years of broadcasting.

February 9, 2009: No. 17 Missouri 62, No. 16 Kansas 60 (Columbia, Mo.)

The first time the Tigers and Jayhawks met as ranked teams since 2003, fans at Mizzou Arena were worried at the end of the first half. Kansas led 30-16, but Mizzou led an inspired rally to even things up. Zaire Taylor, known as Mr. Big Shot after the game, hit a jumper with just 1.3 seconds left to give the Tigers a 62-60 victory.

Mr. Big Shot earns his nickname with a last-second dagger.

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Last updated: Feb. 22, 2012