KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Saturday will bring another edition of the renewed Border War, this time in Columbia, Missouri.
First year Tigers head coach Dennis Gates gave a normal talk leading up to the game.
“You have generations of families, loved ones, alumni, they all come back because this rivalry exists and this is one that people have circled,” Gates said. “I’ve prepared for my first year. I don’t look at it as one game because ultimately I had to prepare for every opponent.”
Meanwhile, Bill Self’s Jayhawks will play their first true road game.
“With Kansas-Missouri from a fan standpoint, I don’t know if there’s as much respect as there is just flat out dislike or hate,” Self said.
Gates only needs to look to alumni and players that went through a 102-65 humiliation last year.
“I definitely feel like I owe them something, so I can’t wait to get out there and see what we can do,” Missouri senior Kobe Brown said.
“This is serious, and it means a whole lot more to the community than it means to us because we didn’t grow up around here. But we just have to give it our all because it means so much to everyone.”
“It’d be nice to kind of ease into this situation, but that’s not the way the schedules set-up,” Self said.
And Self hopes his team, including Columbia native Dajuan Harris, play calm and collective.
“Sometimes emotionally we get to charged up, it leads to us not performing as well, so I just want him to be him,” Self said.
Because this Tigers team is one of only 10 undefeated teams left in the nation.
“A lot of portal guys with experience that’s really made them better. Coach Gates has done a great job in a short time,” he said.
But Gates is keeping his team humble.
“We have not, in my mind, played our very best, and it takes time,” Gates said.
Self said his team is fully healthy. Gates is hoping for a hostile atmosphere to lead the Tigers to their first win in the renewed rivalry since 2012.
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