Colorado did pretty well in the Pac-12 last season, securing a berth in the NCAA tournament, as well as a win. The bid was the Buffs’ first since 2003, and the tourney win broke a drought going back to 1997. No doubt they were bouyed, at least in part, by the fact that they didn’t have to play Kansas twice, or at all, for the first time since 1947.
Apparently, a one-year reprieve from the routine Kansas beatdown was enough. The Buffs are re-entering the fray with a team that thoroughly and convincingly had their number for decades on end when they shared a conference. Per the Kansas City Star:
The Kansas basketball program looked to an old Big 12 foe to fill out its non-conference basketball slate. Nope, not that one. The Jayhawks looked west, scheduling a home-and-home series with Colorado for the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons. As of Friday morning, the series had yet to become official, but Larry Keating, the Jayhawks’ head schedule-maker, confirmed that an agreement was in place.
Of course, the “that one” so coyly referenced here is Missouri. There seems to be little hope, as of this moment, of that bitter interstate rivalry being renewed. For now, the CU/KU game should be a good one.
It’s not so unusual as it may seem for Colorado to reach a detente with Kansas. For one thing, it’s a good, tough game for a rising program. For another, Buffs head coach Tad Boyle is a former KU player, so he may not be harboring as much animosity as your average Big 12 defector.
With any luck, this detente between the former conference rivals will lead to softening of hearts elsewhere. It would warm the heart to see Kansas and Missouri (as well as other former foes, sure) go toe-to-toe again, regardless of conference affiliation.