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A look at some of the most memorable Kansas-Texas hoops games

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For the past seven years, Kansas vs. Texas has been the most exciting college basketball game in the Big 12.

From Nick Collison's 24 points and 23 rebounds in 2003, to Kevin Durant's 25-point, first-half explosion in 2007, the game is always fast-paced. Turn to text message a friend, and even if you type something quickly, you might miss something.

Monday's battle in Austin, Texas, should be no different. It won't be billed as the biggest Big 12 game in years because the Longhorns have struggled a bit lately. Earlier this season, there was a chance Monday would give us No. 1 vs. No. 2. KU will be No. 1, but UT should slide somewhere in the 15-18 range when the new poll comes out. It's still a big stage on Big Monday. And it's still my favorite Big 12 game of the season.

Coach Bill Self is 6-4 in his time at KU against Texas coach Rick Barnes. Self has never won in Austin (0-3) in that time.

I dug up some YouTube highlights of some of the most memorable KU-UT games from the past few years. Enjoy them in preparing for the big game Monday night.

I ordered the clips by year, starting with the oldest:

1. Kansas 90, Texas 87; 1/27/03, Lawrence

Memorable because: Nick Collison's epic performance.

The senior scored 24 points and pulled down 23 rebounds in one of the best games I've ever seen in person. Dick Vitale gave Collison a standing ovation, which is viewed as a prestigious honor since the ESPN commentator has only given two standing O's to anyone.

If there's a specific play from this game I remember most, it had to be Bryant Nash's three-pointer, plus the foul, to cut the Texas lead to one.

The game was recently chosen as No. 10 in the Lawrence Journal-World's series of greatest KU hoops games.

Note at the end of the video above the ignorant KU fans who rushed the floor. I remember being at that game and not believing it. I've seen some pointless rushing the floor/field in my day, but this has to be the worst display by a group of 20-30 idiots I've seen. Most of the KU faithful probably thought the same thing because they booed the group of fans off the court.

2. Kansas 80, Texas 68; 3/12/06, Dallas (Big 12 tournament)

Memorable because: Julian Wright's two highlight dunks.

I sense more people talk about his second dunk, an impressive 360 jam that put KU ahead by 14 and iced the 2006 Big 12 tournament title.

Personally, I was more impressed with his first dunk (2:44 on video above) because of Wright's all-around dominance on the play. Wright not only came up with a steal at midcourt, but he then took two dribbles and flew in for a towering one-handed slam. The game was still close at that point as well. KU went up four with 5:41 left in the game.

I'm still amazed it only took Wright two dribbles from halfcourt to throw it down.

The game was also memorable because Texas hammered Kansas, 80-55, a few weeks earlier in Austin.

3. Kansas 90, Texas 86; 3/3/07, Lawrence

Memorable because: Kevin Durant went absolutely nuts, yet Kansas somehow still won.

Durant scored 25 points in the first half in one of the finest single-half performances of all-time. He injured his ankle in the second half, and still played. But Durant wasn't as effective and KU came back to win and clinch the Big 12 regular-season title.

The game was recently picked as No. 8 on the Journal-World's Top 10 list.

4. Kansas 88, Texas 84; 3/11/07, Oklahoma City (Big 12 tournament)

Video highlights from the game can be found here.

Memorable because: See reason for game No. 3.

Durant went off again, pouring in 37 points. Texas went ahead again, by 22 points.

Kansas rallied again and won the game in remarkable fashion. Sherron Collins stepped up off the bench to score a team-high 20 points.

5. Texas 72, Kansas 69; 2/11/08, Austin

Memorable because: Damion James' second-half performance.

James played only three minutes in the first half because of foul trouble, but poured in 12 points and 13 rebounds in the second half.

It's also interesting to look back at the end of the game, when Mario Chalmers hit a three-pointer to trim the UT lead to two points with 32 seconds left. When UT's D.J. Augustin missed a free throw, KU had a chance to force overtime, but Chalmers' three-pointer from the left wing misfired and the Longhorns prevailed.

Of course, that wouldn't be the last time that season Kansas called on Chalmers to take the last shot.

6. Kansas 84, Texas 74; 3/16/08; Kansas City, Mo. (Big 12 tournament)

Memorable because: No one seemed to miss.

Texas and Kansas hit a combined 27 three-pointers. Chalmers went off for 30 points and cashed eight threes. Brandon Rush had 19 points and drilled six threes. The Jayhawks nailed a tournament-record 15 threes total.

What's your favorite KU-UT memory?

That should be all for now, friends. Enjoy the game Monday and as always, discuss.

Comments

weegee 4 years, 2 months ago

Thanks to ESPN Classic, Monday is devoted to epic matches between the Jayhawks and Texas.

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