Game 266 of possibly 268 in the KU/MU "Border War" was outstanding in so many aspects. With a completely full Mizzou Arena, the lid nearly came off when Missouri beat Kansas 74-71.
When Kansas was down three with the final seconds ticking down, it ironically ran the same play that it used in the national championship game in 2008 (Darnell Jackson must have forgotten or not heard about the play). The point guard dribbled to a hand off on the right wing, then there's an immediate ball screen on the wing from a big man while the weak side has a shooter up top with a flare screen from a big man. KU uses this set down two or three and it has several options.
One option is for Elijah Johnson to shoot when he is open off the hand off (he was) or off the ball screen (also open), yet he did not and the flare screen was snuffed out by Missouri. Johnson then decided to shoot, only to have to force a bad look and not come close. It's a well-designed and well-executed play that Kansas practices at the end of most every game-day practice, but Johnson got tight and did not pull the trigger.
So Missouri now moves into a three-way tie atop the Big 12 with Kansas and Baylor, both of whom the Tigers have beaten.
Here are five quick takeaways from the Kansas-Missouri game:
1. Conner Teahan looked overwhelmed guarding Marcus Denmon. The speed of the game was a bit too fast for Teahan in the first half. He settled down to hit a couple of 3s and got a steal, yet he lost Denmon on a huge 3 when Kansas was up five with 1:30 to go. Of all the remarkable things with this Kansas team, Teahan playing a major role is remarkable -- but until Saturday, he hadn't hit a shot (relatively speaking) in conference play. The issue still for Kansas is that it must get something out of its bench. Teahan's 3s are a start, but his defense makes him a liability.
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