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Return of a rivalry


While yesterday’s Big 12 – SEC Challenge boasted a few enticing matchups, they were quickly overshadowed by the Kentucky vs. Kansas battle going down at Allen Fieldhouse.

The impressive performance by both teams has got some in the sports world, thinking: “Why doesn’t this happen every year?”

It makes sense, both universities boast historic programs with legendary coaches, have passionate (crazy) fan bases and a dormant rivalry that needs just a bit of scheduling magic to bring it back to life and more importantly – to our big screen televisions at home.

A quick glance at history tells us that the Kentucky-Kansas rivalry was going strong for nearly two decades when the teams played each other every year from 1969 until 1985, until a schedule switcheroo forced the two “rivals” to meet in March during the NCAA tournament – sometimes. The Champions Classic pits the teams against each other, but again, that is only sometimes.

In the past 25 years, the Jayhawks and the Wildcats have only played each other nine times.

“It’s a crime against the sport,” Matt Norlander of CBS Sports wrote last night.

And Kansas Coach Bill Self, who got his second career win against John Calipari last night, agrees with him.

“The SEC/Big 12 Challenge… I would assume that Call wil definitely say, ‘They’re definitely coming back to our place next year. I don’t think he’ll pass on that one,'” Self told Matt Norlander of CBS Sports. “I would be good with that. The thing about it is, Cal will play anybody, but you look at our schedule, we’ll play just about anybody.”

Despite the loss last night, Kentucky has historically leads the all-time series at 22-7, and with so much history between the two programs it is a shame fans don’t see these two juggernauts go head-to-head that often.

During his interview with Norlander, Self talked about the eerie connections between the Jayhawks and the Wildcats and the fact that Kentucky’s legendary Coach Adolph Rupp played for James Naismith, who was an assistant coach at Kansas at the time.

“You think about how the programs are intertwined. Because this is such a a generational place, how and why they support [Kansas] the way they do. It’s the same way at Kentucky, I’m sure.”

Yes, Bill, it is the same here at Kentucky. When you take a step back and look at it, Kansas and Kentucky were made for one another.

So, is it possible we could be seeing a yearly matchup with our Kansas cousins?

Bill Self seems to think so. But until then, fans of college basketball will have to wait.

Norlander gives the best reason fans need a yearly scheduled meeting between Kentucky and Kansas.

“Because it’s Kentucky, and it’s Kansas.”

Enough said.



Article written by Ricki Barker

Writer of things. Watcher of sports. Wearer of blue. Sometimes all at once.

16 Comments for Return of a rivalry

  1. 2thepoint
    11:33 am January 31, 2016 Permalink

    The reason they quit had nothing to do with NCAA it was because after UK was down 6 with a few seconds yet won the game. KU vowed revenge at their place. KY endured one of the worst called games ever we said that is it. Every time we go there we get crews like yesterday so no, no, no never schedule a home and home with them. Where did we play them last year, Indy, and trounced them. They won’t come here. Did you pay attention to Self. It was all about playing at their house and he said would slmost play anyone.

    • catdaddyd
      11:56 am January 31, 2016 Permalink

      He says he would be good with that. Playing next year in Rupp.

  2. Long Dong Silver
    11:48 am January 31, 2016 Permalink

    Self is only interested in playing at Lawrence. He won’t come to Rupp.

    • bballfan85
      2:20 pm January 31, 2016 Permalink

      Absolutely not true. He has said more than once he would.

    • UK Big Board Update
      2:50 pm January 31, 2016 Permalink

      AMC Theater Ward Parkway 14

    • Long Dong Silver
      2:53 pm January 31, 2016 Permalink

      He won’t come to Rupp now that Tubby is gone. Not gonna happen. I don’t care what he’s said. People lie, you know.

    • bballfan85
      3:34 pm January 31, 2016 Permalink

      You do realize that Cal did not schedule the at Kansas game don’t you? It was part of the Big 12/SEC Challenge. His hand was forced. If this challenge continues, I would bet that they would schedule KU at UK next. So even IF Bill Self is just flat out lying, it may not even be his choice.

    • theSkinny81
      4:47 pm January 31, 2016 Permalink

      ^ This guy has an amazing ability to state the obvious. Truly remarkable.

    • Long Dong Silver
      5:11 pm January 31, 2016 Permalink

      Skinny, which guy? Who are you talking about? Please try to be a bit more detailed in your comments. Efftard.

    • Long Dong Silver
      5:14 pm January 31, 2016 Permalink

      Bballfan, duh. No shit. This game was mandated by the conferences. Calipari didn’t want to go to Lawrence, and Self doesn’t want to go to Lexington.

    • theSkinny81
      5:22 pm January 31, 2016 Permalink

      I guess you didn’t see the ‘^‘, huh? Efftard. Get over yourself.

    • Long Dong Silver
      6:17 pm January 31, 2016 Permalink

      There are more replies than just mine.

    • theSkinny81
      12:02 pm February 1, 2016 Permalink

      Not everything is about you, champ.

  3. serdi
    12:28 pm January 31, 2016 Permalink

    Pitino was the one that was responsible for ending the home and home with Kansas. He said that it did not really benefit for UK to play them because UK was not recruiting many if any players from the Big 8 area and he wanted to focus on playing from teams on the east coast.

    I personally think playing Kansas on a home and home basis again would be great. In fact, I think that home and home should take the place of UK playing a home and home with North Carolina, especially if the NCAA does nothing monumental sanction wise against North Carolina.

    We are politically charged with playing Louisville every year. If you are are older than 50 I know you feel that way. If you are younger, I guess that you see that game as the arch rival. I see it as an inconvenient no benefit game for UK…they can absolutely nothing from playing that game.

    If I had my way, we would drop North Carolina and Louisville for a home and home with Kansas and Duke.

  4. rainman
    12:56 pm January 31, 2016 Permalink

    You have to be about 15-20 points better than them to have a chance of beating them there, so why would you want to go there? I know we have a Home court advantage too, (it’s not arguable) but NOTHING like this!
    I was one who argued against schedualing Loserville as well! My main reason is, WHY do we feel the need to aide in their growth as a program? I don’t feel we GAIN ANYTHING in these games, other than maybe getting better as a team. And we can do that at neutral sights!

  5. ncaa is in on it
    2:59 pm January 31, 2016 Permalink

    Well said SERDI. The rivalry w/L ville is one sided. NO benefit from beating lil brother every year. Play Duke and Kansas on neutral floor. DYK wayne SELDON PLAYED 44 mins. with ZERO FOULS!!!!!! I dont remember ever seeing a game where 4 players fouled out?????????

    KSR when was last time UK had 4 players foul out. Ill mbet that never happened to DUKE.