The five most memorable games in Sunflower Showdown history

At night in Manhattan, if you listen closely, you can hear Jayhawk fans crying in Lawrence.
Big Jay and Willie the Wildcat part ways following an interaction at Saturday's Sunflower Showdown inside David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium.
Big Jay and Willie the Wildcat part ways following an interaction at Saturday's Sunflower Showdown inside David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium. / Evert Nelson/The Capital-Journal / USA

The Sunflower Showdown is a heated rivalry between in-state schools Kansas State and Kansas, but of course, you would know that. Every Kansas State fan, whether one who was born into the fandom, or became a fan when they chose to attend the university, has a deep hatred for the school just an hour away.

Every Wildcat and Jayhawk fan looks forward to the Sunflower showdown in each sports season whether it is football, basketball, baseball, volleyball, etc.

Unfortunately, Kansas leads the series in all sports, but the overall record is a bit of a conundrum. There are all-time series for certain sports that Kansas State and Kansas differ on. In football, and baseball, K-State and KU each have different ideas on what the series record is.

However, in the big sports, the biggest difference is in football due to certain games that each team either didn't have in the records or chose not to include in their records.

So looking at the history of the Sunflower Showdown, what are the most memorable games in all sports? for this article, the games include just football and men's basketball games, but this rivalry has had many exciting games.

5. 2022-2023 men's basketball team

The 2022-2023 men's basketball team had a very memorable win over the Jayhawks, the first win the Wildcats had over the Jayhawks in seven matchups. This was also Jerome Tang's first win over KU in his short coaching career at Kansas State.

The Wildcats welcomed the Jayhawks for the annual Sunflower Showdown in Manhattan and it was a thriller. Jerome Tang is a scary coach when his team hits overtime and Kansas State walked away with the 83-82 overtime win for the first time in years.

4. 1991 football team

The 1991 Kansas State football team, led by legendary coach Bill Snyder, beat the Kansas Jayhawks 16-12 in a thriller. Snyder took over the team in 1989 and after two seasons of falling to the Jayhawks, Snyder found a way to walk away with the win.

This would be a turning point in the series for Kansas State and Kansas on the football field. Even though Kansas still leads the all-time series, ever since that win in 1991, Kansas State is 28-5 against KU in football.

3. 1969 football team

The 1969 football team beat the Kansas Jayhawks and broke a 13-game losing streak in football. Even though there was a tie in that span of time, Kansas State just simply couldn't find a way to win either at home or at KU. Not only did Kansas State break that streak, but they also won in Lawrence, beating the Jayhawks on their own field.

2. 2002 football team

The 2002 football team had probably the biggest win in the series by either team. The Wildcats not only shut out the Jayhawks, but they put up 64 points on KU. Kansas State had built a 30-0 lead by the end of the first quarter and a 43-0 lead by halftime.

Kansas State had almost 500 yards in offense and held the Jayhawks to only 115 yards. Kansas State's ferocious defense also forced seven turnovers by the KU offense giving them that much more of an opportunity to pile it on the Jayhawks.

1. 2005-2006 men's basketball team

The 2005-2006 men's basketball team might have the most memorable win in the Sunflower Showdown with the Wildcats snapping a 31-game losing streak against the Jayhawks, a well-known blue blood in college basketball.

Not only did Kansas State snap their losing streak, but they did so in Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, a very tough place to play. Unfortunately, Kansas State has not won in Lawrence since then.