Kansas and Missouri to resume rivalry after nearly a decade of dormancy

Jack BaerYahoo Sports Contributor
The Kansas-Mizzou rivalry returned for an unofficial game in 2017, and now the real thing has finally returned. (Photo by William Purnell/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
The Kansas-Mizzou rivalry returned for an unofficial game in 2017, and now the real thing has finally returned. (Photo by William Purnell/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

After eight years without an official Kansas-Missouri game, the Border War is back.

The two schools announced an agreement Monday that would revive one of college basketball’s fiercest rivalries, one that held the distinction of being the longest continuous rivalry west of the Mississippi River before Mizzou left the Big 12 for the SEC in 2012.

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The agreement covers six games between the 2020-21 and 2025-26 seasons, with two games apiece being held in Kansas’ Allen Fieldhouse, Missouri’s Mizzou Arena and the Sprint Center in Kansas City.

“One of the best aspects of college athletics is rivalries, and we are thrilled that our fans and student-athletes will get to experience this Border Showdown rivalry once again,” Kansas athletic director Jeff Long said in a statement. “We have quietly sought input from fans and supporters on the renewal of this series, and we believe the overriding sentiments are that this historic rivalry should resume.”

“Hopefully, this renewal on the hardwood will lead to more opportunities (to play Kansas) down the road in other sports, too,” Mizzou athletic director Jim Sterk said in a dueling statement. “Rivalries make college sports great, and there is no question that when Missouri and Kansas face off in any sport, it’s important to a lot of people.”

For now, the agreement is basketball only, but both schools signaled interest in including more sports. The rivalry dates to 1907 in basketball and 1891 in football. Animosity between the two states, sometimes turning violent, dates back to before the Civil War.

An unofficial form of the rivalry returned two years ago when the teams played an exhibition game at the Sprint Center to raise funds for hurricane relief at a time when storms were ravaging Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Puerto Rico and several Caribbean countries.

The two schools eventually raised $1.8 million and gave us all a reminder of how great it would be for the real thing to return. Now, that’s a reality.

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