It's now official. The University of Nebraska and the University of Kansas have agreed upon a home and home series in basketball. Nebraska will travel to Lawrence for the first game of the series on December 10th, 2016. Kansas will then come up to Lincoln to play on December 16th, 2017. Times are still TBD.
Coach Tim Miles on the series from the Athletic Department:
"We are excited to revive a classic Big 12 matchup between Nebraska basketball and Kansas," said Nebraska coach Tim Miles. "I believe this will be a very exciting event for our fans and student-athletes alike. This is something we look forward to as we continue and try and build a strong a schedule as possible to put us in a great position for Big Ten and postseason play."
This will be the first time these two teams have played since 2011 and Nebraska left the Big 12 conference for the Big Ten. The two squads started playing in 1900 and Kansas leading the series with a 170-71 record. Yes, the series has been fairly one sided but many memorable games have come out of it.
Personally, I think this is a big win for Nebraska. First off, you get a team that Nebraska has a long history with that's right across the border. The schools are roughly three hours apart so the travel will be relatively easy for both fan bases. Kansas is still national power in basketball so it will be a big draw for the national media. I would be surprised if this just gets regional coverage.
Another interesting part of this is that former Kansas and current Nebraska player Andrew White III will be heading back to his old stomping grounds. He originally played with the Jayhawks for the 2013-14 season before transferring to Nebraska. While there was no bad blood between he and the university when he left I am sure there is a desire in him to beat his former team. If that doesn't get the current squad of Huskers up for this game then I don't know what will.
On a side note, let's take about the venue in Lawrence. There are a handful of venues in college basketball that are bucket list material and "The Phog" is one of them. It ranks right up there with Rupp Arena in Lexington and Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham. I've personally been to Allen Field house once and it really made an impression on me. It's one of those places that you can just feel the history when you walk in. I am not a fan of the Jayhawks to say the least, but their home venue is one of the true jewels of college basketball.
Even if you hate Kansas basketball I recommend you seeing it at least once in your lifetime. I know tickets will be hard to get for many fans but who knows when the next time you will be able to go. Save up now and scalp!