Missouri Comes Back to Defeat No.8 Kansas at Home; Big 12 Race Is Open

Farzin VousoughianContributor IIIFebruary 5, 2012

COLUMBIA, MO - FEBRUARY 04:   Steve Moore #32 of the Missouri Tigers celebrates a 74-71 win over the Kansas Jayhawks at Mizzou Arena on February 4, 2012 in Columbia, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Frank Haith experienced his first, and most likely his only Border Showdown in Mizzou Arena. For Haith, let’s just say he loved what he saw from his team Saturday night.

Everyone knew this would be a battle until the very end. However, with over three minutes left to go, spectators believed Kansas had this one in the bag.

Kansas held a 71-63 lead with over three minutes remaining in the game. When many thought it was over, Missouri thought anything but over.

The Tigers went on a 9-0 run, taking the lead with a three ball from Marcus Denmon. Denmon was an impact player for Missouri Saturday night as he scored all nine points during that run.

Missouri finished their comeback win with an 11-0 run to defeat the Kansas Jayhawks, 74-71. Both teams now hold an 8-2 conference record. What does the future hold for both teams as they continue conference play?

For Kansas, they have to turn things around immediately. Kansas will visit sixth ranked Baylor on Wednesday, who they defeated earlier in the season at home. While Tyshawn Taylor did make big plays for the Jayhawks in the game against Missouri, he turned the ball over twice, missed two free throws and was called for two fouls in the final 1:15 of Saturday's game.

Bill Self wants to see Taylor to continue to play at a high level, but finish the game on a good note. As a senior, Taylor has had some problems finishing games in the close contests Kansas has been involved in this season.

Missouri will visit Oklahoma on Monday, but will have to play Baylor on Saturday. Fortunately, for Missouri, they will get to play Baylor in Mizzou Arena, where the atmosphere has been electrifying lately.

Missouri wants to continue to get a lot of production from Denmon, who played for 39 minutes and scored 29 points against Kansas. Despite playing for 39 minutes, Denmon did not commit a single foul in this game.

In order for Missouri to win the Big 12 in their final year with the conference, the Tigers will look to Denmon to help lead the way.

The Kansas and Missouri will meet again in Allen Fieldhouse on February 25th.