As a University of Kansas basketball fan, Id love to see KU play the Wichita State Shockers.
By Yael T. Abouhalkah
The Kansas City Star
And Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall in recent days practically dared the Jayhawks to compete against his squad, which reached the NCAA Final Four last season.
(Kansas) is a special program, theyre elite, and we know that, said Marshall. We're just trying to be the best that we can, consistently. And if we can be in the same conversation with them, its usually pretty good.
But apparently, KU is playing chicken and wont schedule Wichita State, at least yet.
In fact, the Jayhawks havent played Wichita State for 20 years.
Thats not a good thing to have happen in a basketball-mad state like Kansas.
Its especially a bigger deal in 2013, when Wichita State is ranked 11th in the latest Associated Press Top 25 poll and KU is ranked 18th. Plus, dont forget that Final Four appearance by the Shockers in the 2013 tourney.
Part of the problem, it seems, is that Marshall used the term chickenhawks to refer to the Jayhawks a few years ago. Just how he meant it is open to interpretation; details here.
Earlier this year KU coach Bill Self gave his explanation of why things havent worked out with Wichita State, essentially saying it wouldnt make financial sense to play a game away from Allen Fieldhouse at some point against the Shockers.
That contention really doesnt wash, however, given the number of non-conference games the Jayhawks have played against other teams that arent as good as Wichita State. See: Colorado this year. (Yes, I know the Buffaloes upset KU.)
With KU and Wichita State unable so far to work something out, Kansas legislators have even talked about forcing the two schools basketball teams to play.
That would be ridiculous, though. As much as I want to see this happen, it shouldnt be with a new law.
Instead, two of the best basketball programs in the nation in recent years ought to be able to work something out so sports fans in the state of Kansas can see how the squads stack up against each other.