"They are hungry and they have a lot to play for. They have been as good as anyone in our league the last three weeks -- Oklahoma State included," said Bill Self.
The Jayhawks concluded their 2003-04 home slate with a 78-67 win over the Nebraska Cornhuskers on Wednesday night in Allen Fieldhouse. KU ended its home schedule with a record of 13-1, and the team enters next season with a 27-game home win streak against Big 12 opponents.
Kansas' win also assured the Jayhawks of the No. 3 seed in the Phillips 66 Big 12 Tournament in Dallas next week. KU will play at 8:20 p.m. on Friday, and will face the winner of Texas A&M and the No. 6 seed, which is yet to be determined.
The Tigers (15-11 overall, 9-6 Big 12) saw a six-game win streak snapped on Wednesday night versus Texas Tech. MU fell to the Red Raiders in Lubbock, 87-76, to mark the team's first loss since Feb. 7 at Nebraska.
Sunday's meeting will be the 250th all-time between Kansas and Missouri, with the Jayhawks holding a 158-91 series lead.
Missouri scores 74.5 points per game on 44.6 percent shooting from the floor. Rickey Paulding paces MU with 15.8 points per game on 40.1 percent shooting from the field. Arthur Johnson chips in with 14.9 points and a team-high 7.5 rebounds per game among active players.
"We've just got to come in here and play hard and take it like any other game and defend the home court," said Johnson.
Freshman Linas Kleiza was averaging 11.1 points and 8.4 boards per game before being sidelined for the remainder of the season with an injury.