Sunflower Showdowns peaked during the 1950s, when both teams were conference and national title contenders. In fact, from 1946-1978, Kansas and K-State either won or shared the conference titles 26 of 33 seasons. K-State was runner-up in the 1951 NCAA tourney and made it to the Final Four in 1958; KU won the 1952 title and finished second in 1953 and 1957. K-State won the Big Seven conference title in 1956. The most memorable games of the decade included the 1952 #4 KU overtime victory over #8 K-State, 90-88; and a #4 K-State 79-75 double overtime upset over #2 KU in 1958. In the 1959-1960 season, both teams shared the Big Eight Conference title (K-State won both regular season rivalry games, while KU won in the Big Eight tournament).
The rivalry lost most of its spark in the late 1980s, as K-State fell in the Big Eight and Big 12 rankings. From 1994 to 2005, KU ran with a 31-game winning streak; from 1984 to 2005, the Jayhawks won 24 straight at K-State. From 1984 to 2006, K-State won seven games, four at Kansas (1988, 1989, 1994, 2006) and three in Big Eight tournament action (1988, 1989, 1993). KU’s winning streak was ended on Jan. 30, 2008 when #24 K-State upset undefeated #2 KU, 84-75. Later that season, Kansas went on to win the NCAA championship.
Series began: 1907
Series wins: KU 177; K-State 90
Longest winning streak: KU, 31 games (1984-2005)