MU and KU basketball renew Border Showdown rivalry for six years, starting in 2020

Mario Little #23 of the Kansas Jayhawks battles J.T. Tiller #4 of the Missouri Tigers for a loose ball during the game on February 9, 2009 at Mizzou Arena in Columbia, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The historic rivalry between KU and MU is coming back … at least to men’s basketball.

The two universities announced Monday they’re bringing back the Border Showdown, but fans will have to wait a little bit longer. The two teams won’t play until December 2020.

The Tigers and Jayhawks will play six games as part of their agreement: two in Columbia, two in Lawrence and two at the Sprint Center in Kansas City. They’ll only face off once per season.

That first match-up is slated for next season on Dec. 12, 2020 at the Sprint Center.

Then in the 2021-22 season, the teams will play in Lawrence; the following year in Columbia; then in Lawrence in 2023-24; then for the 2024-25 season, it’s back to Columbia.

The two teams will wrap up the six-game series at the Sprint Center for the 2025-26 season.

Missouri and Kansas first competed in men’s basketball in 1907, marking the first of 269 games over 105 years. The Jayhawks have a 174-95 lead in the series over all those years.

But then Mizzou left the Big 12 Conference in 2012 to move to the Southeastern Conference, ending the frequent competitions.

But it didn’t necessarily end the rivalry — or some fans’ desire to see the two teams play again. Now they’re finally getting their wish.

Since 2012, KU had refused to play MU after leaving the conference, but the teams did play once in 2017 in an exhibition game, which ended in a 93-87 victory for KU.

Jayhawks Head Coach Bill Self said in a news release that it was after that 2017 game that it became obvious to him how much fans wanted to see the rivalry renewed.

“Having coached a lot of games vs. Missouri in my time here at Kansas, I could not be more excited to start this series up again,” Self said.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for both programs to bring back one of college basketball’s best rivalries,” Tigers Head Coach Cuonzo Martin said. “I’m excited for our guys, our university and our fans, and we look forward to the battles ahead.”

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