LAWRENCE — The Border War rivalry won’t reignite this fall as originally scheduled.
Kansas and Missouri have agreed to postpone what would’ve been the first in-season meeting between the universities’ men’s basketball programs in over a decade, citing the "unique and difficult challenges" posed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The Jayhawks and Tigers were previously set to square off Dec. 12 at T-Mobile Center in Kansas City, Mo.; instead, a Dec. 11, 2021, showdown at Allen Fieldhouse will represent the first contest in a six-season agreement to restart what was, until 2012, considered the longest continuous rivalry west of the Mississippi River.
To make up for the lost 2020-21 matchup, the universities have agreed to a neutral site matchup at T-Mobile Center to be held during the 2026-27 season.
"I was excited about beginning this series with Missouri again on (Dec. 12)," said KU coach Bill Self in a news release. "(H)owever, it is in the best interest of both of our schools and especially our fans to push this back a year. This rivalry goes back a long way, and we want our fans to be able to witness it again in-person. So, delaying it a year was an easy decision."
Other matchups in the series include a pair of games at Mizzou Arena in Columbia, Mo. (2022-23, ’24-25), another contest at Allen Fieldhouse (’23-24) and another neutral site tilt at T-Mobile Center (’25-26).
KU athletic director Jeff Long said the NCAA’s recent decision to delay the start of its men’s basketball season to Nov. 25 caused the Jayhawks to rethink their scheduling plans.
"With the Big 12 conference games also being adjusted, and the likelihood of only 10-20% of fans permitted to attend the game due to the pandemic, it became clear that we should delay the series," Long said. "We appreciate Missouri agreeing to the delay and we look forward to renewing the Border Showdown at Allen Fieldhouse on (Dec. 11, 2021) with a sellout crowd."
The men's basketball programs last officially met on Feb. 25, 2012, an 87-86 overtime victory for the Jayhawks in Lawrence. KU defeated Mizzou 93-87 in an Oct. 23, 2017 charity exhibition in Kansas City, Mo., a preseason matchup that helped raise more than $1.75 million for hurricane relief.
The universities in May announced the renewal of their football rivalry, with meetings set for the 2025, '26, '31 and '32 seasons.