Kansas - Missouri Border War needs one last round

LAWRENCE, KS - FEBRUARY 25: Thomas Robinson #0 of the Kansas Jayhawks reacts after the Jayhawks defeated the Missouri Tigers 87-86 to win the game on February 25, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kansas. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Well that was fun, no? Kansas - Missouri, playing their final scheduled Border War game after more than 100 years of pure hate, provided us with the best game of the college basketball season to date.

On a scale of one to Christian Laettner in 1992, the game was just a few notches below that historic regional final game in Philadelphia 20 years ago.

Yesterday's battle featured exceptional shooting and offensive execution, foul trouble, questionable foul calls, trepidation, double digit leads, blown double digit leads, bench guys having career nights, and a senior spearheading the overtime surge en route to victory.

All the important elements that qualify a game for the "best ever" conversation.

"I can't even put it into words, man," said Thomas Robinson after the game. "I don't think I'm ever going to be part of something as big as this game was."

And Robinson probably won't, as you simply cannot replicate everything that goes into such a memorable game like that. But if you're content with the way this rivalry will exit stage left, you should reconsider. Something that's this important for so many people needs defined closure, and that's why I'd like for you to cross your fingers now for the Jayhawks and Tigers to meet just one more time in either the Big 12 Championship or NCAA Tournament.

Because they split this year's home and home match-up, I'd say we're right back to where we started entering the season, especially since both games had head-shaking foul calls that many would agree most certainly influenced the outcomes of both games.

With yesterday's win, KU is best positioned to earn a #1 seed over Duke, the Tigers, Michigan State and North Carolina...but it isn't solidified. There's still plenty both teams are playing for.

Assuming Frank Haith's club wins out, these two teams will be the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds, respectively, in the Big 12 Conference Tournament.

While it won't provide the energy and raw emotions found in an on-campus arena, Kansas City will provide us with a neutral court setting that can declare some sort of unofficial winner in one of the best rivalries in college sports.

It's not to say that a Round III match-up would settle the score on such an old feud, but it would at least allow fans and media to definitively say that one of these teams got the best of the other in the final season of the rivalry, one where both teams are Final Four caliber and split the two regular-season games.

This year's chapter of The Border War is something for the ages. We'll bottle up both games and re-visit them for years to come, but we still need the opportunity to break the current season split.

Let's hope we see these two get one last shot. I don't think these fan bases can live with a tie.

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