Kayler Smith-23Sports

News broke late Monday evening that the long-standing basketball matchup between Mizzou and Kansas would return for a six-game series. The teams have been without a Border War game for eight long years after the rivalry’s dwindling when Mizzou left the Big 12 in 2012.

The renewed series features one game each season for the next six seasons in Kansas City, Lawrence and Columbia.

2020-21: Dec. 12, 2020 – Sprint Center, Kansas City, Missouri
2021-22: TBD – Lawrence, Kansas
2022-23: TBD – Columbia, Missouri
2023-24: TBD – Lawrence, Kansas
2024-25: TBD – Columbia, Missouri
2025-26: Dec. 13, 2025 – Sprint Center, Kansas City, Missouri

News of this may have come as a surprise for many fans. While Mizzou Head Coach Cuonzo Martin has been in favor of the series comeback, Kansas Head Coach Bill Self many times expressed his reluctance. In a post-game press conference of the charity exhibition game in 2017 between the two, Self said Kansas was not “interested in doing what’s best for Missouri or best for Missouri fans.”

However, some may have expected this series comeback following the exhibition match up in Kansas City. Each team was given 8,500 tickets and they were mostly offered to donors and students, then the general public. However, the game sold out in just ten minutes, before even being available to the general public. So while Self and Kansas may not have been eager to reboot the rivalry, their fans showed their excitement for the long-awaited rematch.

In the showdown’s 105-year stretch, Kansas led the series 172-95. Much like any rivalry, when it came to game day, records and national ranking did not matter. In the last match up between the teams in Columbia, #21 Mizzou came back from an eight-point deficit with less than three minutes on the clock to defeat the #5 Jayhawks, 74-71.

It can be presumed that Missouri fans have been craving the revival of this rivalry as Mizzou still struggles to find their place in the SEC. There have been attempts to create new rivalries, like the Illinois Braggin’ Rights game in basketball and Arkansas Battle Line Rivalry in football. To Missouri fans, neither hold a candle to the deep-rooted rivalry with Kansas.

The arenas in all three cities are bound to be packed and buzzing with eager fans. It is unclear where the rivalry will go once the six-year agreement is up with the schools still differing in conferences, but many fans hope it will be here to stay.