It is hilarious to me that so many people are blaming Missouri’s loss on the referees Saturday. Rather than attributing it to the 19 point run by Kansas, Dixon slowing skipping the ball down the court in the final seconds, or faulting the 7 minute drought where they didn’t score a point. I just have to laugh, it would be like me trying to place blame on the fact the KU lost in Columbia because of final seconds of regulation in early February. I will admit the charge on Taylor, and the no-call in the final seconds definitely didn’t help us secure a victory that night. However, that is not the reason KU lost that day. The reason we failed to put the game away was because we stopped dishing to T-Rob down low, Tyshawn missed his opportunity at the free throw line, and we allowed a quick shooting team to get some last minute opportunities from the Arc.
It seems to me that they have overlooked the fact that Kansas played their tails off from about the 16 minute mark on. We played solid with the ball, made smart decisions, completed our shots, and came through at the free throw line when it mattered. If you look back at the 2 calls MU fans are upset about and add those points to the total it will still come up extremely short of 19. The ref’s didn’t make or break the game for either team that day. Things are going to happen, some calls go your way and some calls don’t, it’s the game and the nature of the sport. There were times in the game that didn’t do much good for us either. Withey and Robinson both sat out the last 4 or 5 minutes of the first half because they each had 2 fouls, some of which could have been questionable, but no one complained about that.
I think Missouri or “Mizzou” (whatever they are going by these days) is upset at the fact that they couldn’t hold us down and beat us on our home court, or the fact that we got our 8th straight Big 12 Championship (something they will never have an opportunity at again.) Either way, they have decided to leave the Big 12 and it feels great to get one last victory over them. Maybe they are bitter and placing blame because this is the first time we haven’t beat them in double digits in a while. (In Lawrence KU won by 32 in 2002, by 33 in 2006, and in double digits 12 other times since 1995.) Those stats you can’t argue or blame on refs.
I would like to say I am going to miss the rivalry, but honestly, I am ready to be done with them. My feelings towards their program won’t change; it just means we won’t get to communicate our feelings and emotions on the hardwood anymore. I wasn’t the biggest fan of conference expansion, especially when choices are made based on money. I don’t really think we should give them the opportunity to play us anymore: they walked out, they quit, and they wanted to be someplace else. We don’t need them to improve our seasons; we have National Championships, Final Fours, Conference Titles, Hall of Fame Coaches and Players, alongside national scale recruiting. MU would have to scrape to maintain minimal results in any of these fields. Why should they be allowed to ‘use’ us for time on major networks, bragging rights, or even College Game Day coverage for that matter? They may need us but we don’t need them, they took a big chance at hurting and damaging the conference completely, a conference that took care of them and paid them for years. So in my final goodbye, I wish you luck at building a program with tradition that will last. Rock Chalk Jayhawk, Go KU.