It’s been 28 years since I have hung on every moment of an OU/Kansas game.
Sure, there have been a few that have been compelling, but none like this.
Monday night’s instant classic saw Kansas hold off Oklahoma (again) in Lawrence, 109-106, in triple overtime.
I remember clearly – still very clearly – the emotions of watching the 1988 national championship. A 50-50 tie at the half. And the title slipping away in the closing minutes.
And I still cringe a bit when I hear some national media-type throw out the phrase “Danny and the Miracles.” Most of them didn’t even see the game.
But the game on Monday night was one for the ages. Really.
It had so many lead changes and ties. Can’t look at the officials (except for one ‘foul’ just before the half) as there were 22 fouls charged to each side.
It had Buddy Hield score 46 points and Jordan Woodard put in 27 while the two combined to go 14-of-24 from behind the arc. Hield had eight rebounds and seven assists to go with his 46 points.
Khadeem Lattin came close to a rare triple-double of his own with 10 points, 14 rebounds and six blocks.
The game of No. 1 Oklahoma (Coaches’ poll) vs. No. 1 Kansas (AP poll) was even throughout. So even that it went to three extra sessions.
My 8-year-old son saw part of it before he had to go to bed – school starts back from Christmas break on Tuesday morning. But I’ll let him know that he got to be a part of some of it.
And as an OSU alum (Class of ’12), my emotions have changed some over the years in perspective to both these teams, there was still a real emotional tie for someone who has lived most of his life in the Sooner State.
And the emotion of just watching the game can’t compare to what the players and coaches were expending living it.
Yet, I will remember the joy of witnessing – even on TV – something like that from start to finish.
It is interesting to consider that just four days into this new year, we may have witnessed the best game of the year already. Where do we go from here?
We will tell ourselves that we were glad to have seen something so cool, we can tell our kids we didn’t sleep that night because we were playing back scenes from the game in our heads.
And even with little to no rest the next day, we’ll be glad we did.