Saturday, March 29, 2014

Play Us... Why Should We?

The cry from Wichita and its loyal Shocker fans to the University of Kansas is play us.  The answer for K.U. is easy.  Why should we?  Kansas has nothing to gain and everything to lose.  And the whining from Wichita State about the snub from Lawrence seems to take away from the luster of W.S.U.'s greatest season ever.

The Shockers finished the season 35 and 1.  They went down to the best 8 seed ever in NCAA history when a young, but tough Kentucky team took them out.  The Shockers were denied the impossible dream of a 40 win season and becoming the first undefeated champions since Bobby Knight's Indiana Hoosiers of 1976. 

Even if Wichita State had climbed that Mount Everest of NCAA basketball history, their program would have still lacked the luster of Kansas.  The Shockers don't belong in the conversation with K.U., Kentucky, Indiana, North Carolina and U.C.L.A.  Those schools are NCAA basketball history.  For example, W.S.U. has made the NCAA tournament only 9 times,  Kansas has been in the Final 4 more times than that.

Now with their glorious season at an end, I expect Shocker fans to whine endlessly about K.U.'s refusal to play a home and away series with the Gold and Black.  It's an issue that has some Kansas lawmakers threatening legislation to force K.U.'s hand on the matter.  Economics dictate that Kansas shouldn't do it.  It will cost K.U. a potential home game every other year.  That's a chunk of money and in college athletics we all know that in the end, it's about the money. 

A home and away series with W.S.U. puts the two schools on equal footing when it comes to the conversation of basketball in the Sunflower State.  Why would K.U. want to do that?  The answer is simple, because it makes for a good story.  It makes for a rivalry that Kansas could use with the absence of Missouri.  It would bring a little panache to the dullness of December or January college basketball. 

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