Traditional rivals Kansas and Missouri have not played on a basketball court since 2012, when the Tigers headed to the SEC. When Mizzou hired former R. Bowen Loftin as chancellor three years ago, he went straight to work to bring the rivalry back.
However, Loftin told AL.com that he immediately ran into issues. Specifically, he ran into one issue that would not go away.
“The problem was a man named Bill Self who made it very clear this wasn’t going to happen,” Loftin said.
The basketball programs played an absurd 267 times between 1907 and 2012. Fittingly, the programs split their final season series. Both games were decided by three points or fewer. Both football programs also played 120 times. Mizzou narrowly leads that matchup by a 57-54-9 margin.
Per AL.com, Loftin met with Kansas chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little. The possibility of a neutral-site matchup at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City was proposed. However, Self reportedly nixed that possibility.
Loftin was previously the president at Texas A&M too. He believes even the Texas vs. Texas A&M rivalry might be more reparable than Kansas and Missouri’s basketball rivalry. Considering the personalities involved in Austin, that’s a strong statement.
“I think it’s more like Texas will bend than Kansas as long as Self is involved,” Loftin said. “He has a big ego.”
At this point, there is little possibility these two programs play in the near future of any sport. However, wounds heal. It would be fun for both fan bases to eventually interact once again.