KC’s Next Play: We’ll be watching Chiefs, a Border War (!), K-State vs. Wichita State

·3 min read

Border War basketball is back. It may not be very competitive at the moment, but it’s back.

The Jayhawks and Tigers renew their men’s hoops rivalry on Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kansas.

It’s an afternoon game — 2:15 p.m. Central Time — so a lot of Kansas City-area households will no doubt be planning their day around watching on TV, if not actually attending the game.

Here’s more about that matchup and some of the other local sports highlights we foresee in the week ahead.

The atmosphere was equally electric at Mizzou Arena (left, on Feb. 4) and Allen Fieldhouse (right, on Feb. 25) before the final men’s basketball games between the Missouri Tigers and Kansas Jayhawks in 2012.
The atmosphere was equally electric at Mizzou Arena (left, on Feb. 4) and Allen Fieldhouse (right, on Feb. 25) before the final men’s basketball games between the Missouri Tigers and Kansas Jayhawks in 2012.

Jayhawks and Tigers

If you’re from this region, or have lived here long enough, you know the deep history (and dislike) connecting Lawrence and Columbia.

Even with the rivalry mostly dormant in the decade since Mizzou departed the Big 12 for the SEC, that bitterness has lingered. In some corners, festered. KU coach Bill Self remains the constant, and it’s with his blessing that these teams renewed acquaintances.

Back in the day, Jayhawks-Tigers games always seemed to rise to the occasion. A glance at the records and stats suggests KU wins big on Saturday, but could Cuonzo Martin’s Tigers perhaps put up a fight? We’ll see. The Tigers are riding over on the struggle bus.

Before tangling next weekend, KU plays Tuesday at home against UTEP, while Mizzou plays host the same evening to Eastern Illinois.

It’s a busy week ahead for coach Bruce Weber and the K-State basketball team.
It’s a busy week ahead for coach Bruce Weber and the K-State basketball team.

Wildcats, Shockers and Roos

Saturday’s KU-MU tilt isn’t the only regional marquee matchup at hand this week. In Wichita, the Shockers will play host to the K-State Wildcats today (Sunday, Dec. 5) at Intrust Bank Arena. Tip time is 5 p.m. Central.

It’s a busy week for Bruce Weber and Co. After playing the Shockers, the Wildcats bring in Marquette on Wednesday (8 p.m.) and Green Bay next Sunday (4 p.m.). Green Bay — the Phoenix — visits the Kansas City Roos this coming Friday at 7 p.m., too.

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill has 932 yards through 11 games this season, with eight receiving touchdowns.
Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill has 932 yards through 11 games this season, with eight receiving touchdowns.

Chiefs’ Western influence

The Chiefs are entering what might reasonably be viewed as the stretch run of their regular season. And their near-term schedule is loaded with a couple of home games against opponents from their own division.

Tonight, it’s the Denver Broncos at Arrowhead Stadium. A week from today, on Sunday, Dec. 12, the Chiefs welcome the Las Vegas Raiders — the same Raiders they walloped 41-14 in Sin City on Nov. 14.

Tonight’s prime-time tilt matches an improved Chiefs defense against veteran QB Teddy Bridgewater. Since entering the NFL in 2014, Bridgewater has played the Chiefs just twice, splitting 1-1 and going 53 of 80 for 559 yards, three TDs and two interceptions.

K-State quarterback Collin Klein, left, was a Heisman Trophy finalist as a senior in 2012. The honor that year went to Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, center. The third finalist was Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o.
K-State quarterback Collin Klein, left, was a Heisman Trophy finalist as a senior in 2012. The honor that year went to Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, center. The third finalist was Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o.

Heisman watch

College football’s annual Heisman show airs at 7 p.m. Saturday on ESPN. But when’s the last time anyone from one of our region’s three Div. I schools earned Heisman hype of any kind?

Class? ... Class? ... Maybe Drew Lock at Mizzou?

K-State quarterback Collin Klein was a finalist as a senior in 2012 — went to New York and everything. The other finalists that season were Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel (the winner) and ... wait for it ... linebacker Manti Te’o of Notre Dame. Deuce Vaughan had a really nice season for KSU this year, and Tyler Badie was nails for MU, but it’s been a pretty dry decade.

Final bit on this: Can you name the three past KU guys who received Heisman votes? Answer: John Hadl, Bobby Douglass and David Jaynes. Forty-eight years ago, Jaynes, was a finalist. The trophy went to Penn State back John Cappelletti; Jaynes finished fourth.

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