Today is one of the few times where I slip out of 'one game at a time' mode. It's happened twice this basketball season, both involving the last of the Border War matchups.
Kansas and Missouri are set to clash for maybe the final time on one of their campuses, this time February 25th in Lawrence. Both teams have games before that time, both playing at A&M, Kansas with a home game against Texas Tech and Missouri hosting Kansas State. But all eyes are already set on the 3pm tipoff on the 25th for all of the marbles.
I don't want to debate who is right or wrong in this series coming to an end. But I don't think even if they play again, that they will be able to replicate the home and home atmospheres that happened earlier at Mizzou or that is anticipated to take place next week at KU.
Simply playing one non-conference game cannot deliver the same emotions of what this entire conference race has. When, and I'll say 'when', this series is played again, there will be a short term hatred, but not the 18 game living and dying with your rival's every move that you have now. It just can't happen.
The stakes are just higher when you are talking about conference implications. There's more on the line than 'just' the rivalry. This year, it's a conference title, possibly a #1 seed, and oh yeah, the ability to have bragging rights for the foreseeable future.
So enjoy this final go round and all that goes with it. KU playing in the Big 12 and Mizzou in the SEC won't be able to deliver this kind of drama ever again.