One of the casualties of conference realignment over the past few seasons in college athletics has been the loss of rivalry games fans have grown accustomed to seeing on a yearly basis, but the Missouri Tigers and Oklahoma State Cowboys will rekindle one former Big 12 rivalry on the basketball court next season.
The two teams have played 118 times over the past 88 years, but the last time came in 2012, the final year Missouri was in the Big 12 before leaving to join the SEC. The Tigers own the all-time series with a 77-41 record over the Cowboys.
The former Big 12 rivals will play at the Spring Center in Kansas City next season as Missouri makes a concerted effort to give a great game to their passionate fans in the Kansas City area.
“In joining the Southeastern Conference two years ago, we talked about our commitment to our fans throughout Missouri, and in particular, our fans in Kansas City,” Mizzou AD Mike Alden said in a statement. “We have tremendous fan support in this part of the state, and it is critically important to us as a University to have a strong presence in Kansas City.”
First-year head coach at Missouri and former player and assistant with the Tigers, Kim Anderson, thinks this will be a special game for both sides.
“What a special game for the fans and former players of both universities,” Anderson said. “I remember playing Oklahoma State in Kansas City twice while I was in school and those were two great games. Our two universities share great history with one another and conference affiliation isn’t going to change that fact. Obviously KC is very special to us and plays a major part in who we are as a university and as a basketball program.”
Missouri missed the NCAA Tournament last season but played in the NIT. After the season Frank Haith left to become the head coach at Tulsa. Meanwhile, the Pokes head into next season without Marcus Smart, Markel Brown and LeBryan Nash from last year’s No. 8 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Now that Oklahoma State is on the schedule, maybe Missouri can find a way to get the Kansas Jayhawks on the basketball schedule in the next few years.