The best place to put the over-under on when one of the callers to Bill Self's weekly radio show will ask the question that's asked every week is about nine minutes. The coach gives his answer, which is really a waste of time because no answer can make the question disappear.
Why won't Kansas University play Wichita State in basketball?
Before Self, Roy Williams discontinued the series, perhaps in part because he was outraged at the behavior of the Wichita crowd in the last trip there. All over America coaches at elite programs do the same. The thinking is that the bigger school has nothing to gain, because a victory will be taken for granted, and everything to lose.
If Washington had it to do over again, it wouldn't have scheduled Gonzaga, which has won eight of the last nine meetings and has been written out of the Huskies' schedule.
Plus, in this computer age, every result is measured against every other result in determining a computer ranking. A Wichita State that plays Kansas is going to be a better team than a computer could capture because the Shockers would be so fired up to win emotion would be worth a few extra points. Kansas already faces that agenda factor because of what a victory against Kansas would mean to those schools. That factor would increase because of the geography and history of playing in such an enormous shadow.
Wichita State would want the series to be home-and-home, but since the school doesn't get to play Kansas at all, it would behoove the Shockers to rethink that position and enter negotiations for a four-year series in which the first three games are played in Lawrence, the fourth in Wichita.
It's easy to see why Self and other powerhouse coaches wouldn't want to take such games. It's also easy to see where the businessmen at both schools would be against a three-for-one, but if you're the guy at home keeping score, who really cares what the coach and bean counters think?
The fans would love the game, and so would the players. Unfortunately, in college athletics, the fans and players don't have much of a say.
At this particular time, the emotional edge Wichita State normally would take into the game would be negated by one KU would have in its favor: Wichita State is ranked ahead of the Jayhawks in the polls.
KU junior guard Russell Robinson, as mature an individual as there is on the team, can always be counted on to give a straight-
forward answer to a question.
"I think it would be a good game," Robinson said. "I think the fans would enjoy it. I think it would be good for the state of Kansas. Especially with them being so good recently, I think it would be good."
What about the nothing-to-gain-and-everything-to-lose theory?
"Even though we you can say we might not have anything to gain, I think it would be good for the state of Kansas, and they have good talent, so we'd definitely get something good out of the game. We'd get up for that game just because we want to keep our fans in Wichita happy."
Well said. Both sides need to get together, hammer something out and put an end to the question. Instead, the finals-week gap in the schedule ends Tuesday with a game in Allen Fieldhouse against, drum roll, please ... Winston-Salem State.