Thomas Robinson and Kansas storm back, knock out Missouri in OT, 87-86

By: Kels Dayton

Kansas erased a 19-point second-half deficit and stormed back to beat arch-rival Missouri, 87-86, in an overtime classic that may have been the last game played between the two schools for a while.

Thomas Robinson led the Jayhawks with 28 points and 12 rebounds.

Here’s what we learned from this game:

  • Thomas Robinson willed the Jayhawks to an 87-86 win over Missouri on Saturday in what may have been the final game between the two rivals for a while. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

    Thomas Robinson is the National Player of the Year. No disrespect to Anthony Davis, who also had a huge game on Saturday, coming up with a career-high 28 points and 11 rebounds in Kentucky’s win over Vanderbilt. But Robinson willed the Jayhawks to victory this afternoon. He was screaming at teammates, drawing double teams, scoring must-have buckets down low, and punctuated it all with a game-tying three-point play and a game-saving block of Phil Pressey at the buzzer. Without him, Kansas gets blown out today. Without Davis, Kentucky might have won anyway. That’s the difference between the two.

  • Missouri is a legitimate National Championship contender. The Tigers answered several key questions on Saturday. First, they proved they could go into one of the nation’s toughest road environments and not get overwhelmed. Mizzou held a 15-point lead in the second half easily could have won this game if it weren’t for a questionable foul call on Phil Pressey on Tyshawn Taylor’s semi-out-of-control drive to the basket with 8 seconds left in OT. The Tigers also proved they have a go-to guy at the end of games, as Marcus Denmon twice gave Missouri the lead on clutch shots with under a minute to play in overtime. They may not get a number 1 seed, but Missouri has the requisite crunch-time chops to win big games in the tournament.
  • Allen Fieldhouse might be the best atmosphere in college basketball. Not that we just learned this, but decibel levels reached jet-taking-off level inside the grand old fieldhouse, which had a special feel today due to the circumstances. It’s a shame that this rivalry will be put on hold and won’t ever again mean as much as it did this afternoon. The hatred for Missouri was taken up a notch with the Tigers departing for the SEC, and it made this game even more special.
  • It was a happy bunch of Jayhawks in the locker room after the game. (Photo:

    The Jayhawks (24-5, 12-1) strengthened their case for a number 1 seed and took complete control of the Big 12 title race. Kansas has won seven straight regular-season Big 12 championships, and will make it eight if the ‘Hawks can win one of their final two games, at Oklahoma State and at home against Texas. But Missouri (25-4, 12-4) isn’t completely out of the No. 1 discussion. If the Tigers were to capture the Big 12 tournament championship and get revenge on KU in the process, Missouri may still end up with a 1-seed.

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