LAWRENCE, KAN. — After more than 100 years of basketball, a rivalry that started with blood came to an end in an 87-86 Kansas victory in overtime. And like their bitter rivals, KU students weren't shy of their feelings about the end to the Border Showdown.
Since MU announced its move to the Southeastern Conference, KU representatives have made it clear that this year’s installment of the Border Showdown could be the last.
Many Kansas fans feel betrayed by Missouri’s decision to depart from the Big 12 Conference and wish to do the Tigers part.
“If (MU) really cared about the rivalry, you would have stayed,” KU sophomore Amanda Winkler said. “It’s like someone divorcing someone but still wanting to date.”
The rivalry extends beyond the fans, KU senior Aaron Harris said.
“It’s between the actual universities," Harris said. "Our governor doesn’t want us to play, our coach doesn’t want us to play, our chancellor doesn’t want us to play. I don’t see us playing anytime soon. ... It’s just sad we lose who we have been beating up on for the last hundred years.”
Some students said they want the rivalry to end because they think Kansas has proven to be more dominant.
“Missouri is tired of losing," KU freshman Chaz Schneider said. "It’s hard to be beat every year and always be looking up to KU. There’s a reason why we are the best program in the nation.”
Not all Kansas fans are looking for the rivalry to end.
“I wish we had more time with the rivalry,” KU freshman Sean Stejskal said. “I just don’t want to go to Kansas City with the rivalry like we did with football.”
Before the game, KU freshman Christine Stanwood said she does not think she will ever see Missouri tip-off at Allen Fieldhouse again.
“This game determines the outcome of good over evil,” she said.
KU students and athletes did admit they will miss having an arch-rival.
“There’s nothing like playing Mizzou," KU track and field athlete Taylor Dawson said.
Other Kansas fans shared similar ideas.
“I’m disappointed because (Kansas State) isn’t a real rival,” KU freshman Chris Jurcyk said. “You’re leaving us with them. They think they are our rival but we don’t think they are.”
Top media profiles, such as ESPN analyst Dick Vitale and Sports Illustrated columnist Joe Posnanski, have recently listed the Border Showdown as one of the top rivalries in the nation.
Some Jayhawk fans, like KU freshman Luke Johnson, said Kansas will do fine without the attention the Missouri games bring each season.
“Typically, we are the ones ranked high and (MU is) not usually not on the map,” Johnson said. “(National media) will be here anyway. We can pull attention ourselves.”
Much of this attention over the last decade has come from the success Kansas coach Bill Self has brought to the program, including eight straight Big 12 championships with Saturday's victory. KU students were well in support of Self's public disdain for continuing the rivalry.
“We’ll play again if Bill wants to play again,” KU sophomore Bennett Golubski said. “We didn’t want Missouri to leave, but now that Missouri is gone, we don’t want it to continue.”