Environment the stage: Missouri was not precisely enjoying a banner year in 1997. On Feb. 4, the Tigers have been eleven-ten, in the midst of their worst year in 20 a long time. Their opponent that evening, arch-rival Kansas, entered 22- and ranked No. 1 in the nation. Roy Williams’ Jayhawk roster featured 6 long run NBA gamers, led by long run lottery picks and all-stars Raef LaFrentz and Paul Pierce. Missouri had just a single long run professional on its roster. But the Tigers had upset then-No. three Kansas in Columbia the 12 months prior, and lovers still packed the Hearnes Centre for the rivalry matchup.
I understood sooner or later I necessary to find a Mizzou-Kansas basketball video game to observe for this collection. At first, I attempted to find a single of the game titles from 1987 that Lee Coward gained on matching buzzer-beaters. No luck. Exact same for the two of the 1990 matchups, through which the two Missouri and Kansas have been ranked in the best five. I could not even find online video of the 2006 matchup, also identified as the Christian Moody choke work.
So, I acknowledge, I turned to Wikipedia. Immediately after scrolling as a result of a list of notable game titles involving the two rivals, I came across this 1997 matchup involving unbeaten Kansas and middling Missouri. I speedily located a complete-video game replay, and whose experience should really greet me but former Missouri participant turned broadcaster Jon Sundvold, carrying out a pregame section from Missouri’s locker room. Sundvold, if you’re reading this (uncertain), you barely search like you’ve aged a day.
The old cliche that you have to “throw out the records” when two rivals match up has been beaten to demise as a result of the a long time, but that’s partially due to the actuality that it’s rooted in truth of the matter. This rivalry was a prime instance. In 1996, an unranked Missouri group had upset a Kansas squad ranked No. three in the country, handing the Jayhawks their 1st Large twelve loss of the year. And while Kansas entered this matchup as a hefty preferred, the sheer quantity from a sellout group in the Hearnes Centre indicated that Kansas was going to get Missouri’s very best shot.
It didn’t choose extended before that group was worked into even far more of a frenzy. On Missouri’s 1st possession, Derek Grimm came off a display and buried an open three-pointer. The following vacation down the ground, Grimm hit one more three to make the score six-. Kansas would response with a bucket, but a couple possessions later, Grimm pulled up for a two-pointer, scoring his eighth position in a lot less than four minutes.
Missouri would great off a bit immediately after that, and Kansas clawed its way again into the video game, thanks in big element to Jerod Haase. Kansas’ massive three of LaFrentz, Pierce and Jacque Vaughn struggled to get a rhythm towards Missouri’s intense protection — Lafrentz and Pierce mixed to score just four 1st-50 percent details — but Haase chipped in eleven details in the 1st 20 minutes.
The 1st 50 percent was comprised of a collection of operates. Kansas slice the Missouri lead to 20-19 when the Tigers responded with eight straight details. Kansas, in transform, answered with 9 in a row, capped by a three from St. Charles, Missouri indigenous Ryan Robertson. I was amused by the hearty booing directed at Robertson just about every time he touched the ball.
Robertson’s three gave Kansas its 1st lead. The Jayhawks looked like they would keep on the operate when Missouri turned the ball above and Kansas got a transition layup chance, but Jason Sutherland saved the day when he chased down Haase and blocked his shot, then stripped Haase of the ball, then drew a foul. Sutherland, Missouri’s second-major scorer that year, hadn’t scored up to that position, but that was a single of many important hustle performs he designed. He took a cost a couple possessions later, and would choose one more cost in the second 50 percent. Missouri then got a jumper from forward Kelly Thames to slice Kansas’ lead to 33-32 moving into halftime.
Fewer than a moment immediately after the break, Sutherland drove straight at Pierce and drew Pierce’s fourth foul. Pierce, who had sat the final six minutes or so of the 1st 50 percent with foul difficulty, returned to the bench. Soon thereafter, Missouri reclaimed the lead when Thames drove baseline for an open dunk.
The two groups would commit the rest of the second 50 percent buying and selling blows, with neither able to length by itself. Kansas did most of its damage by getting to the absolutely free toss line and created its lead as significant as four details with just above ten minutes to perform, but Sutherland hit an off-equilibrium layup for his 1st details. Kansas then skipped two straight front-finishes of a single-and-a single absolutely free toss circumstances and Danny Allouche got a layup to re-tie the video game.
LaFrentz answered with a pair of absolutely free throws. At that position, Kansas had shot twelve absolutely free throws in the second 50 percent and Missouri hadn’t shot any. Just about on cue with the commentators bringing that up, Thames drew an offensive foul on Robertson. Pierce, who had just re-entered the video game immediately after far more than ten minutes on the bench, hit a mid-variety jumper, but then Sutherland got to the line as effectively. Each groups went cold for a couple minutes, until suitable immediately after the final media timeout of regulation. Missouri drew up an inbounds perform that got Grimm an quick layup and gave the Tigers a 65-64 lead with about two:forty five to perform. Sutherland then took but one more cost and designed the two absolutely free throws to increase the Tiger lead to three.
The Missouri group had been loud and engaged all over the video game, but at this position, it truly got worked up. Even immediately after Vaughn hit a floater to slice the lead to a single position, a chant of “(expletive)-K-U” could be heard above the broadcast through a timeout.
Kansas appeared to have a prospect to choose the lead with about a moment still left in regulation when Pierce drove for a layup. He skipped, but LaFrentz got the rebound and had a distinct search from about a foot away. LaFrentz skipped as effectively, and Pierce got whistled for an above-the-again foul going for one more offensive rebound — his fifth. The foul sent Thames to the line, the place he hit the two absolutely free throws to give Missouri a 69-66 lead.
LaFrentz got to the line on the other stop and hit the two absolutely free throws to slice the lead to a single with 43 seconds still left. Missouri then conquer Kansas’ strain and ran 17 seconds off the clock before Grimm was fouled. At that position, Missouri as a group had shot fifteen of 16 from the absolutely free toss line. Of training course, Grimm skipped the 1st, though he did make the second. With Kansas down two, LaFrentz got a clear search suitable at the rim. After once more, he skipped an quick a single, and once more, it led to a teammate becoming identified as for a rebounding foul. With thirteen.5 seconds still left, major by two, Missouri had Grimm, the game’s major scorer, headed to the absolutely free toss line. The Tigers had to have felt quite great about their chances.
Grimm skipped the 1st. He got lucky to make the second, as it rattled all over quite a great deal just about every inch of the rim before dropping. That put the Tigers up three. Norm Stewart instructed his group to foul, and Tyron Lee wrapped up Vaughn with nine seconds remaining.
Vaughn designed the 1st absolutely free toss. With so a great deal time remaining, he attempted to make the second, as effectively. But the ball rimmed out. LaFrentz tossed Grimm out of the way and collected the rebound. This time, he did not miss out on, banking in an quick layup to tie the video game. Dibi Ray’s runner at the buzzer clanged off the again rim, and at seventy one-seventy one, the video game went to additional time. Perform-by-perform broadcaster Bob Carpenter claimed “you have to give the edge to Kansas at this position,” and while that might search like a freezing cold choose in hindsight, the crowd’s surprised silence advised it felt the very same way. Immediately after all, Kansas was the obviously far more talented group and had presently pulled off a couple massive comebacks that year, such as an additional time acquire above Nebraska three times prior. Missouri, meanwhile, was two-six in game titles decided by four details or a lot less and had to be discouraged immediately after permitting what had seemed like a absolutely sure acquire slip away.
Kansas’ offense located its rhythm in additional time — mostly by offering the ball to LaFrentz just about every time down the ground — but Missouri would cling in thanks to a single of the most clutch absolutely free toss taking pictures performances I have ever seen. Kansas jumped to a brief lead when Billy Thomas knocked down an elbow jumper, but Missouri tied the video game with two absolutely free throws. Haase then collected a Thomas miss out on and laid it in, but after once more, Missouri responded re-tied the video game at the absolutely free toss line. The Tigers looked to truly be in difficulty when, on the following possession, LaFrentz drew a foul on Grimm and muscled in a layup. He hit the absolutely free toss to give the Jayhawks a three-position lead. Meanwhile, Grimm, who led Missouri at that position with 20 details, fouled out. But on Missouri’s ensuing possession, Sutherland got the ball on the wing, pump-faked to get a Kansas defender to sail by him and knocked down a three-pointer to tie the video game.
With Grimm out of the video game, LaFrentz feasted down minimal. He scored on Kansas’ following three straight possessions. But just about every time, Missouri managed to draw a foul and response at the absolutely free toss line. Thames hit a pair, then Sutherland, then Thames once more. With a lot less than a moment to perform, the video game was tied at 84. Vaughn then drove and drew a foul for Kansas. In spite of his unorthodox absolutely free toss regime, which observed him keep the ball in front of his chin for about fifteen seconds before taking pictures, Vaughn designed the two. Missouri got the ball inside of to Tate, who was double-teamed but bailed out when T.J. Pugh still left his toes. Tate leaned into the speak to and drew a foul.
Tate coolly knocked down the 1st absolutely free toss. Before he could shoot the second, on the other hand, Kansas identified as timeout. It didn’t choose a great deal of a lip-reader to see Tate slap his hands together and say “shit.” However, immediately after the hold off, he knocked down the second and tied the video game after far more. Vaughn got an open search from about 18 toes at the buzzer, but his shot glanced off the front rim. The two rivals went to double-additional time tied at 86. Missouri, which hardly ever led in the 1st additional time period of time, had just hit twelve absolutely free throws in a row.
The two groups traded a couple empty possessions apiece to open the second additional time, then Thomas put Kansas forward when he hit a three of a curl. After once more, Sutherland squandered very little time in erasing the deficit. Off a baseline out of bounds established, Missouri got the ball to Sutherland in the corner. He was effectively guarded by Haase. He caught the go, hesitated, probably sensed that Haase didn’t hope him to try out to shoot, and form of pushed the ball toward the rim. The shot looked uncomfortable, but it went in. It would not be the shot anyone remembers from this video game (we’re getting there), but it may have been far more outstanding.
Vaughn skipped an open three on the other stop. Sutherland then drew a foul but skipped the 1st absolutely free toss. He designed the second to give Missouri its 1st lead in far more than 7 minutes. LaFrentz immediately erased the lead by placing again his very own miss out on, but Thames took the ball suitable to LaFrentz on the other stop and scored. The bucket was the greatest in a huge night time for Thames — 24 details and twelve rebounds — but, sad to say, the very last. On the other stop, LaFrentz drew Thames’ fifth foul. He designed a single of two absolutely free throws to tie the video game at ninety two with just above a moment on the clock.
With Thames fouled out, Stewart had to transform to seldom-used sophomore L. Dee Murdock. The following vacation down the ground, Murdock posted up down minimal, and Ray fired him an outstanding entry go from about 25 toes away. Murdock calmly turned and sank the shot, his only field objective of the video game. After once more, on the other hand, Kansas answered when Vaughn drove and scored. The video game was tied with just under forty seconds remaining.
Not seeking to give Kansas a clear very last search, Missouri opted to dribble out as a great deal of the 35-second shot clock as it could. That system in the beginning looked to backfire. With about fifteen seconds still left on the shot clock, Kansas commenced to entice, and Missouri scrambled just to prevent a turnover. Kansas looked like it had a takeaway when Vaughn stripped Lee on the still left wing. But in the basketball variation of the flea-kicker, the ball glanced off Lee’s shin and rolled out of Vaughn’s reach. Tate appeared seemingly out of nowhere. All in a single motion, he picked up the ball, stood and shot from 18 toes away. With two seconds on the shot clock and 5.six in the video game, the ball rattled in. The group erupted.
Kansas identified as its very last timeout to try out to established up a perform to get the ball the size of the ground. Missouri wisely denied Vaughn the ball, and Kansas had to settle for a contested 22-footer from LaFrentz. He might not have even got the shot off in time, but it would not subject. The ball didn’t even find the rim. For the second year in a row, Missouri had upset a closely-favored Kansas group in Columbia.
Missouri could not keep the mojo alive the pursuing video game, when No. two Wake Forest and Tim Duncan came to city. The Demon Deacons gained seventy three-65. In actuality, immediately after the acquire above Kansas, not a great deal went suitable for Missouri. The Tigers shed 7 of their final eight game titles of the common year. They did make a operate to the finals of the Large twelve meeting event, but there Kansas exacted revenge with a 27-position blowout. However, Tate’s miraculous shot (and the 49 minutes that preceded it, which, all issues deemed, may have been far more unlikely) furnished one more unforgettable moment in an legendary rivalry.