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Sunflower Showdown - Kansas State-Kansas basketball rivalry

By blackmonam Founding Member
Published Mar 22, 2009
Articles17    Photos401    Videos0    Discussions22
Hometown: Oklahoma/Kansas
Date joined: Oct 18, 2008

Kansas State and Kansas’ annual competitions against one another have become known as the “Sunflower Showdown.” The interstate basketball rivalries began in 1907 and is the seventh-oldest NCAA rivalry. The Jayhawks lead the series 177-90 (at the end of 2008-2009 season).

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)


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Mar 24, 2009
Eric wrote:
Those 1950s matchups sound great. Were any big names on K-State during those seasons?
Mar 24, 2009
Jack Gardner was coach til 1953, then Tex Winter came about. Ernie Barrett came from that era, along with Dick Knostman, Bob Boozer, Jack Parr and Roy DeWitz.
Mar 26, 2009
rohebliusFanbase staffwrote:
This rivalry was pretty one sided.

Did KState ever beat Kansas when Wilt was playing there?
Mar 28, 2010
billnes wrote:
Bob Boozer and Jack Paar played for K-state during the Wilt era, both were All-Americans. K-state did win at least once, 79-75 AT KU.

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