Friday, October 13, 2017

Kansas, Missouri renew basketball Border War for hurricane relief

Kansas forward Thomas Robinson raises up the fieldhouse during overtime against Missouri on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Thomas Robinson raises up the fieldhouse during overtime against Missouri on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse.


Kansas basketball Media Day very rarely includes big, breaking news, but that was hardly the case on Friday, when Kansas coach Bill Self confirmed that his team would face former Border War rival Missouri in an exhibition game for charity at 3 p.m. on Oct. 22 at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.

Dubbed the “Showdown for Relief,” KU and Missouri were given permission by the NCAA to host an extra exhibition game that will raise money for hurricane relief.

How much money?

“Planning on north of a million,” said Self of the event, which will not be televised nor streamed online but will be available on each school’s radio network. “I think it’s a great opportunity for two schools to do something together for the (benefit) of the masses.”

The fact that that something involves two schools whose bitter rivalry and ensuing divorce when Missouri left the Big 12 for the SEC following the 2011-12 season drew national attention is merely a sidenote, according to Self, who has been steadfastly against the idea of scheduling MU since the Tigers left.

“I haven’t changed how I feel about that at all,” Self explained. “My whole thinking when I called (MU coach) Cuonzo (Martin), it didn’t have anything to do with us wanting to play Mizzou. It had everything to do with, how can we send the most money to those victims? And there was no doubt that the Missouri game will draw (a lot) of interest and be able to create (significant) funds.”

As for the specifics of the game, Self admitted that it probably would not resemble anything close to the last game these two played against each other, an 87-86, overtime thriller in February of 2012 in Lawrence that some have called the greatest game — or at least comeback — in Allen Fieldhouse history. But he emphasized that he and his team were OK with that given the focus of the event.

“I would say it’s not that big,” Self said. “This is not a regular season game, you don’t have your stuff in, but there is enough interest that you can put 19,000 people in a building. That’s the reason why we’re doing it, and that’s the sole reason why.”

Reaching the fevered pitch that people came to expect would be next to impossible given the fact that none of the players on either roster ever knew life with the other as their bitter rival.

“I’ve never experienced it,” KU senior Devonté Graham said of the Border War. “You know, I see it on the video board every time before the game and I know how big of a rivalry it was back in the day, so I think it’s going to be good for the fans and it’s to raise money for (hurricane) relief and that’s a big thing. It’s just an exhibition game so it’ll be a good competition.”

Added junior Lagerald Vick: “Coach told us about it (Thursday) and it’s probably gonna be the talk of the town soon and I’m definitely excited.”

There has been some speculation that such a game might not have happened had it not been for the recent excitement surrounding the MU program, which recently hired head coach Cuonzo Martin and added No. 1 overall recruit Michael Porter Jr., among other talented newcomers. But Self, re-emphasizing the purpose of the contest, said he thought Kansas would have sought out an event like this with Missouri because the KU-MU match-up presents the best opportunity to raise as much money as possible.

“I think they’ll see just a regular game,” said Self when asked how intense things might get. “We’ll have officials and we’ll throw it up and we’ll commit fouls and we’ll shoot free throws. But it won’t be any different than any other exhibition game. He won’t have his stuff in, we won’t have our stuff in, but it’ll still be good. It’ll be good for the fans.”

Tickets will be offered first to members of KU’s Williams Education Fund and MU’s Tiger Scholarship Fund. Each school will be given tickets for half of the roughly 18,000-seat arena and all members of those support programs will be contacted via email about how to purchase tickets, which will range in price from $200 for courtside seats to $25 for students.

Any tickets not sold through WEF or TSF will go on sale starting at 10 a.m. Wednesday and will only be available online at


Phil Leister 4 years, 11 months ago

I'm just glad to know it was Bill's idea and he's the one who reached out to Mizzou. All good in my book.

Mick Dupas 4 years, 11 months ago

VERY Disappointed in KU..I suggest KU fans boycott game, and donate price of ticket directly to the many hurricane relief funds...can you imagine if one of KU players gets injured in this meaningless game...

Bryce Landon 4 years, 11 months ago

Boycott the game? And leave Sprint Center to become Mizzou Arena West? Hell no! We need to make it clear who rules in Kansas City!

Joe Joseph 4 years, 11 months ago

Not sure how I feel about this, but I sure hope Missouri gets its @** kicked.

Len Shaffer 4 years, 11 months ago

Having seen Martin's coaching out here in the Bay Area, I'm confident that KU will win easily.

I can understand Mick's point, but I still think it's a nice thing. My only regret is that they can't find a way to get it on TV and donate at least some of the advertising revenue to the victims as well. But I assume it's too late in the process to get that done.

And one other thing in response to Mick: it's possible that someone can get hurt in any exhibition game, but having an exhibition against a better opponent than usual certainly doesn't hurt (no pun intended) in getting ready for the season.

Richard Quinlan 4 years, 11 months ago

Im very disappointed we let these rat bastards back into our world

Jerry Ryan 4 years, 11 months ago

The charity benefitting the most is mizzery athletics department and fan base.

Jack Kenny 4 years, 11 months ago

Terrible and sad to see. No reason KU couldn't figure out a hundred other ways to support the relief efforts without sacrificing the programs principles. Coach succumbed to the pressures of someone on this one. Now the howls will start in earnest from those who will use this as a basis as to why MU and KU must play annually. MU has won here and didn't even have to sink a shot. They get to show up the crappy old conference that wasn't good enough for them, keep the money, and gain the benefits and exposure that playing the Hawks provides. So much for backbone and sticking to your beliefs. This will be a permanent black mark for Coach and smells like the start of more bad news to come.

Todd Winters 4 years, 11 months ago

Never been more disappointed in KU, the athletic director or Coach Self in my life.

Mark my words, fellow Jayhawks. This is a gateway drug game. Over the next few years, rumors will swirl that a regular season non-conference game must be scheduled. "For the good of the game." Anyone need to be reminded they were the ones who left?

The last KU/MU game ever played should be "down by 19 at the half". That's the storybook ending the basketball gods deemed just. Any game after that, like this one, will tarnish that legacy.

"Hurricane relief"? More like "MU relief". Their alumni aren't attending and their students aren't enrolling. They are the only ones who benefit from this; their administration is quietly whispering "see, we told you we'd convince KU to play us again once the dust settles." And in that sense, they've already won.

Any KU fan who wants this game to happen doesn't remember the terror of potentially playing in the Mountain West. We should have ignored their phone calls like they did ours right before they bolted for the SEC. Does anyone still remember that hell?

Justin Kruse 4 years, 11 months ago

Not being able to watch this beat down on tv is just cruel!

Bryce Landon 4 years, 11 months ago

I'm against this, but if KU is going to do this, they'd better win - even if it is an exhibition game. Better yet, crush them so badly that they will never ask for a regular season game again, and we don't have to hear about what cowards we are for not wanting to play them anymore.

Chris Lintecum 4 years, 11 months ago

I wish I could donate money to a hurricane relief fund in order to NOT watch my beloved Kansas basketball program lower itself like this.

Buck Bukaty 4 years, 11 months ago

And y'all thought there couldn't possibly be worse poor judgement than the football program......a new low!!

Jack Brooks 4 years, 11 months ago

Ugh! GD it.

We could have had a televised game with one of our fellow blue bloods that would hav3 raise exponentially more $$. Why didn’t we go with that??

No way in hell I’d ever support this—not even if it was to fund The Second Coming.

Cora Smith 4 years, 11 months ago

I'd rather play cheatin' Louisville than Missouri. The point about injury is right on. Do you think they will go down with class. No way!

Tony Bandle 4 years, 11 months ago

Jesus H. Christ!!

I have never seen a bigger bunch of whiner, cry baby, hate-filled fans in my life!!

It's Bill's's not going to be televised....all the money is going to help fellow Americans who really are hurting right now...and..IT'S A FRIGGIN' SCRIMMAGE!!

I dislike Misery as much as anyone and I'm am a native Missourian but, come on people, show a little compassion and class. I know I will get ripped for this post but that;s OK. Fire away!!

[Although, i guiltily must admit, I kind of like the thought that Bryce puts out there!!]

Titus Canby 4 years, 11 months ago

C'mon Tony. You work with MU fans, don't you? The MU guy in the office next to me came running into my office Thursday with the story about the game, and was in my face about it. They don't look at this as just a scrimmage.

Roy Scherff 4 years, 11 months ago

Nothing good to come of this. Not even hurricane relief. It's just Big 12 admitting how much trouble they are really in and what a loser conference it will be until they can grow up enough to play with the big kids. KU in typical round heels fashion is not even going to get kissed in this deal.

Michael Johnson 4 years, 11 months ago

I'm suggesting that heads roll if one of our Bigs get hurt in this meaningless game. One injury to a Big, could cost us the Big 12, a top seed in the tournament and worse, the NCAA Championship. This is such a bad idea.

Bob Bowles 4 years, 11 months ago

How about we take all the Williams Fund donors and whatever Mizzery calls their equivalent and force them to watch a KU/MU football game at Arrowhead unless they donate to hurricane relief so they don't have to go? ;-)

Titus Canby 4 years, 11 months ago

Self's quote: “I think it’s a great opportunity for two schools to do something together for the (benefit) of the masses.”

My quote: "This a a positive opportunity for the University of Missouri to game some much desired and advantageous exposure."

Tim Orel 4 years, 11 months ago

This stinks. The game would raise a H*** of a lot more money if they televised it, so why not do so - at least if the reason for doing this is fundraising.

Harlan Hobbs 4 years, 11 months ago

All comments have some good points. However, after digesting it all, I think that Tony Bandle has put it the best, as he often does.

Participants aside, this is a tremendous opportunity to raise a significant amount of money for a good cause, and by all accounts it was Bill Self's idea. Furthermore, he says that this in no way is intended to signal a change in his attitude re: playing Mizzou in the regular season (after all, given how the NCAA operates, you got to believe they would try to create a post season matchup just as they have with KU and WSU, and even KSU by putting us in the same region many times).

If Coach Self and the KU administration wants to put aside their feelings about MU for one exhibition scrimmage, then that is good enough for me. Besides, it gives KU another chance to just kick their butts, which is what I expect will happen.

Marius Rowlanski 4 years, 11 months ago

Why not Wichita State? That would raise at least as much money and not bring us closer to giving Missouri a border war renewal. There is no way Duke would never play Maryland after they left the ACC, why are we giving in to Missouri?

Marius Rowlanski 4 years, 11 months ago

There is no way Duke would ever play Maryland after they left the ACC, why are we giving in to Missouri?

That makes more sense.

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