Josh Klingler is the co-host and update anchor of "Fescoe in the Morning," heard weekdays 6a-9a on 610 Sports Radio. Perhaps the busiest sports personality in Kansas City, "Kling" also hosts pregame and postgame for KU Football and Men's Basketball broadcasts on the Jayhawk Radio Network and does morning sports updates on News Radio 980 KMBZ. He brings you his insight each Thursday on 610sports.com
I'm kicking myself for not going to KU-MU1 in Columbia and there's not a price you could pay for me to give up my courtside seat for this Saturday in Lawrence. (note, don't hit me up, I can't sell a media seat anyway)
Maybe I'm overshooting this one, but I just don't think I will be a part of a more amped experience than the pregame will be at Allen Fieldhouse ever again. I feel like I should be Jordan to beat Utah and walk away at the top. But just like MJ, I won't either. Still I'm preparing for this to be the best pregame atmosphere that I will ever have the opportunity to cover.
While I have no idea if the game will live up to the hype, I do think that AFH will be rocking like no other time ever leading up to the 3pm tipoff. The students have been camping out all week long and to coin a Bill Self-ism 'the building will be juiced.' This will be a game that only 16300 will be able to attend, but another 50000 will say they were there.
Trying to put this one in perspective is impossible. There's so much on the line Saturday from history and the end of it, to the league race, to a possible #1 seed and as Bob Fescoe put it “eternal bragging rights” if Missouri were to win on the road in L-Town.
I'm just glad that I will get to be a part of it .. and for not having to ante up for a ticket! Listen in to the pre and post game coverage that I will be a part of Saturday at 130p and we can interact on twitter @joshklingler
Today is one of the few times where I slip out of 'one game at a time' mode. It's happened twice this basketball season, both involving the last of the Border War matchups.
Kansas and Missouri are set to clash for maybe the final time on one of their campuses, this time February 25th in Lawrence. Both teams have games before that time, both playing at A&M, Kansas with a home game against Texas Tech and Missouri hosting Kansas State. But all eyes are already set on the 3pm tipoff on the 25th for all of the marbles.
I don't want to debate who is right or wrong in this series coming to an end. But I don't think even if they play again, that they will be able to replicate the home and home atmospheres that happened earlier at Mizzou or that is anticipated to take place next week at KU.
Simply playing one non-conference game cannot deliver the same emotions of what this entire conference race has. When, and I'll say 'when', this series is played again, there will be a short term hatred, but not the 18 game living and dying with your rival's every move that you have now. It just can't happen.
The stakes are just higher when you are talking about conference implications. There's more on the line than 'just' the rivalry. This year, it's a conference title, possibly a #1 seed, and oh yeah, the ability to have bragging rights for the foreseeable future.
So enjoy this final go round and all that goes with it. KU playing in the Big 12 and Mizzou in the SEC won't be able to deliver this kind of drama ever again.
Time for another Big 12 edition of “What I think I know, what I'd like to know” which really just leaves more questions than answers. Going in standings order (as of today).
What I know – size doesn't matter, they've proved it time and time again, they make it work.
What I'd like to know – can they win the Big 12 without winning at Allen Field House? Why does Missouri run some prevent O late in games? I hate when it looks like they slow it down, I'd like to see them continue on the gas pedal.
What I know – Tyshawn Taylor can bring it. Despite the over magnification of his game, he's averaging 19ppg in Big 12 play and 44% from the 3pt arc for the season.
What I'd like to know – is Jeff Withey really the key to this thing? It seems to me when Withey is playing well along with the big 2 of Thomas Robinson and Taylor they have a chance for a very productive March.
What I know – tons of talent.
What I'd like to know – what's missing? Their losses have been to Kansas and Missouri and haven't taken the step to be in KU's league when this was their year to prove it. Is it coaching as has been the not so silent whisper throughout the league?
What I know – I'd rather not face ISU in the Big 12 tourney if I'm KU or MU.
What I'd like to know – what exactly is Royce White? And does it really matter? Very good college player with seemingly some questions as to what he is at the next level. Can they win away from Hilton Magic?
What I know – I kind of overvalued the Cats non-conference. They are about where they should be, mid pack, around .500 in the Big 12.
What I'd like to know – what are the Wildcats 'givens', what can be counted on consistently? K-State does ______ well? I'm not sure.
What I know – J'Covan Brown takes what J'Covan Brown wants.
What I'd like to know – are they tourney worthy? Middle of Big 12 pack and 0-6 vs the Top 25 .. at this point it's a no.
What I know – good energetic team at home
What I'd like to know – does Markel Brown do anything but dunk? Allegedly he's shot some 3s. I refuse to acknowledge. He only jams and jams very well.
What I know – I believe in Lon Kruger.
What I'd like to know – will it turn around quickly at OU?
What I know – this has not gone as planned in College Station, did Mark Turgeon really know something when he got out?
What I'd like to know – if this season is just a wash for Billy Kennedy due to his health issues?
What I know – Billy Gillispie this there
What I'd like to know – how I can avert my eyes until he brings this thing back? I do not want to have to watch any more of the Red Raiders march towards 0-18.
I've always tried to stay PC when it comes to Kansas vs Missouri. I've adhered using “Border Showdown” when referring to the annual matchups. But now that we are down to the last two meetings for the foreseeable future, even I'll admit “War” is now in order.
I really don't need to document how the two schools fan bases loathe each other, just log onto twitter this week and search hashtags #kubball and #mizzou, it will be all of the proof that you will need. To me though, the rivalry aspect is just the icing on the cake to what should be a terrific pair of matchups. My expectation is the two teams splitting the regular season meetings and then play the rubber game at Sprint Center at the Big 12 Championship.
166 meetings and just the 14th time in the all time series that both teams are ranked in the top ten and it's a game for first place in the Big 12 as we've turned the midway point. It's the spotlight game in prime time. And you really don't like each other. You can't ask for a better script.
I am eagerly anticipating the X's & O's of KU-MU1. How each team will matchup the other and try to enhance their strengths and exploit their weaknesses has me hooked. I haven't even thought once about is Tom Brady can get for his 4th Super Bowl title or if Eli will push himself to being the more accomplished of the Manning brothers. I'm all basketball until this one is over on Saturday night.
Who can guard Thomas Robinson? Can Thomas Robinson guard on the perimeter? Can Kim English help force KU to go small? Will Frank Haith go zone? Just a few of the many questions I can't wait to see answered on Saturday night.
Jayhawks tune to 610 Sports Saturday night, Tigers to 98.1fm KMBZ for the 8pm tipoff and feel free to interact with me on twitter @joshklingler on Saturday night. Bart Scott was right, “CAN'T WAIT.”