Conference realignment put an end to many of college basketball’s best rivalries.
Syracuse vs. Georgetown
Duke vs. Maryland
Missouri vs. Kansas.
Up until 2012, the rivalry between Tigers and Jayhawks had gone uninterrupted rivalry since 1907. That streak ended when Mizzou jumped ship for the SEC. The 2014-15 season marks the third straight season to the two schools have not met on the hardwood. And for Kansas head coach Bill Self, he’s not too happy about it three years later.
“To be real candid, it’s not good,” Self said. “It hasn’t been great.”
To this point, Self and other Kansas administrators have held a firm stance against playing or scheduling Missouri. The topic has been addressed ad naseam at times, with Self offering a similar answer each time. And despite Friday’s comment, it doesn’t appear that stance is softening anytime soon. Still, it appears that even for Self, the end of the Border War has left a void of sorts at Kansas.
“You can make a case for certain things about it that we haven’t taken a step backward — that kind of stuff,” Self said. “But I think everybody likes waking up in the morning disliking somebody. And so from that standpoint, it probably hasn’t been great.
Plenty of teams around the country are in the same position as Kansas in terms of losing a longstanding rival. However, the Jayhawks haven’t been hurting on the floor, currently ranked in the top-10, and projected as the last No. 1 seed in the latest bracket.
Despite Friday’s comments, Self’s position on renewing the rivalry likely won’t change, according to Dodd. Kansas will continue annual conference matchups with the likes of Texas, Oklahoma State and in-state foe, Kansas State, which travels to Lawrence on Saturday afternoon.
For now, the Kansas-Missouri rivalry may just be limited to social media.