Why won’t KU ‘Chickenhawks’ play Wichita State?

12/17/2013 6:37 PM

12/17/2013 6:37 PM

As a University of Kansas basketball fan, I’d love to see KU play the Wichita State Shockers.

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, they’re 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, it’s usually pretty good.”

But apparently, KU is playing chicken and won’t schedule Wichita State, at least yet.

In fact, the Jayhawks haven’t played Wichita State for 20 years.

That’s not a good thing to have happen in a basketball-mad state like Kansas.

It’s 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, don’t 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 haven’t worked out with Wichita State, essentially saying it wouldn’t make financial sense to play a game away from Allen Fieldhouse at some point against the Shockers.

That contention really doesn’t wash, however, given the number of non-conference games the Jayhawks have played against other teams that aren’t 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 shouldn’t 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.

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