LAWRENCE — The Missouri Tigers call their style "the fastest 40 minutes in basketball."
Well, Kansas played the best 20 minutes of basketball it's played all season, making Mizzou look as if it was running in peanut butter while building a 20-point halftime lead.
Which makes me think Missouri might need a new slogan, at least for meaningful games against legitimate opponents on the road.
Yes, the Tigers live up to their billing when they play UT-Pan American, Chattanooga, Fairleigh-Dickinson, UMKC and Savannah State. Against No. 2-ranked Kansas, though, not so much.
I'm sorry if I'm picking on Missouri too much. It kind of comes with the territory here, where KU fans do not hide their distaste for the folks just east of the border.
Supposedly, this is a huge rivalry, one that dates back to the Civil War. Well, KU now leads the overall series with Missouri, 168-94, and owns the Tigers at Allen Fieldhouse.
But as with any game with a huge build-up, there's a giant letdown when one team takes it to the other. And after toying with Missouri during the first eight minutes, Kansas outscored the Tigers 33-17 the rest of the half.
1. Cole Aldrich — I think he's back. After not living up to the preseason hype, Aldrich had his second impressive game in a row against Missouri. "Impressive" isn't the right word to describe his play against the Tigers. Dominant, maybe. He had 12 points, 16 rebounds and seven blocked shots.
2. Rebounding — Kansas beat Missouri on the boards, 56-28. Apparently, the fastest 40 minutes of basketball doesn't include rebounding.
3. Balance — Eight Jayhawks scored six or more points. Tyrel Reed made all four of his three-pointers. Marcus Morris had 17 points and nine rebounds. Xavier Henry hit some shots. Brady Morningstar had nine points and five assists. Markieff Morris played great: nine points, 11 rebounds and three assists in 19 minutes. Even Tyshawn Taylor, unable to access his Facebook account, concentrated on playing and contributed seven points and three assists in 13 minutes.
4. Sherron Collins — For once, it's not about what he did, but what he didn't do. Collins made only 2 of 11 shots and finished with six points, only the fifth time he hasn't made it to double figures. Didn't matter.
5. Defense — Kansas limited Missouri to 27.9 percent shooting. Anderson talked about how his team wasn't taking the right shots, but never really did anything about it.
As for Missouri, there were two bright spots. The Tigers had only five turnovers while forcing Kansas into 23. And that's about it.
Yet I suspect that when the Jayhawks play in Columbia come early March, Missouri will be a different team, fueled by its home crowd just as Kansas is by one sellout after another at Allen.
The best news for KU is the resurrection of Aldrich. He just wasn't himself for so long. People wondered whether it was because of his ill grandmother, who recently passed away. Some thought he was trying to hide an injury.
All along, though, Aldrich has been a rebounder and a defender. Those aspects of his game didn't disappear, and now the points are starting to come.
Aldrich still isn't as integral a part of the offense as he should be; he took only five shots against Missouri.
He should get more. The ball still doesn't get to him as much as it needs to in most games.
Still, the monster was fed at the defensive end.
"Ever since I was 6-foot tall in the fifth grade I've tried to block shots," Aldrich said. "That's the player I am and I love blocking shots."
The best thing about this KU team is the mystery. You never really know who is going to bust out on any given night.
Frequently, it's Collins. But he's made only five of 21 shots the past two games after saving the day in a win against Baylor last week.
"I did think Sherron was good against Iowa State (on Saturday),'' Bill Self. "He was good, he was just 3 for 10. But he did some other things. Tonight, he didn't have one of his better outings, obviously. But whenever your leading scorer gets (six) points and you still have 84, that's not a bad thing.''
No it isn't, especially since the Jayhawks kind of went through the motions in the second half. That didn't please Self, who would like to see his team remain aggressive and blood-thirsty for 40 minutes, regardless of how big its halftime advantage.
Self couldn't find much to be displeased about, though. The Jayhawks transformed Missouri's fastest 40 minutes of basketball into the longest, most demoralizing loss of the season for the Tigers.
For Mizzou, it must have seemed as if the 40 minutes was never going to end.