A week or so ago, I asked the contributors of Rock Chalk Talk (and a select few personal acquaintances) what their top-5 wish list for KU basketball opponents would be. Teams were ranked 1 through 5 and given points similar to the way the Top 25 polls work. I ended up with 17 total voters; here are the results (first place votes in parentheses).
1. Missouruh, 36 points (4)
Series record: KU leads, 172-95
Last meeting: #4 Kansas 87, #3 Missouruh 86 (OT), 2/25/12, Lawrence, KS
A casualty of conference realignment, one of the fiercest rivalries remains mostly dormant, unless you happen to live in the Kansas City area, where a cold war silently brews between the two rivals. This rivalry may be on the back burner but it is still a point of contention between the two fanbases. In recent years (since 1991), the battles on the hardwood mostly went the way of the Jayhawks, with KU going 35-12 versus the Tigers, including topping 100 points three times during that span.
Most of the comments from voters who had Missouruh on their ballots were along the lines of either, "It's always fun to beat MU," or, "Missouri, but only in Allen Fieldhouse."
2. Kentucky, 35 points (4)
Series record: Kentucky leads, 22-6
Last meeting: #1 Kentucky 72, #5 Kansas 40, 11/18/14, Indianapolis, IN
Kentucky has pretty much had KU's number throughout history. However, over the past six matchups the series is split 3-3, and since 1985, Kentucky only holds a 6-5 advantage. KU fans seem to want a shot at catching up to Kentucky both in the series and in all-time victories. Comments from voters were mostly along the lines of, "It's fun to see KU face off against other blue-bloods."
3. Duke, 32 points (3)
Series record: Duke leads, 7-3
Last meeting: #5 Kansas 94, #4 Duke 83, 11/12/13, Chicago, IL
The Jayhawks and Blue Devils haven't met a lot lately, with only four matchups coming since meeting in the title game in 1991 (and all four of those since 2000). Two of KU's three wins in the series have come in the NCAA Tournament. Comments from voters echoed the blue-blood sentiments similar to Kentucky, and one voter even commented, "Who doesn't love beating Duke?"
4. North Carolina, 29 points (4)
Series record: UNC leads, 6-5
Last meeting: #3 Kansas 70, North Carolina 58, 3/24/13, Kansas City, MO
Roy Williams was only 1-2 versus Carolina while at KU, and since moving to Chapel Hill is 0-3 versus the Jayhawks, allowing KU to make up some ground in the series.
Roy said in a press conference before the last time these two schools met that he will never schedule a home-and-home with Kansas because he refuses to walk through the away tunnel at Allen Fieldhouse. Most voters didn't comment on their choice of North Carolina, but I assume it has something to do with our recent success against them and Roy's infamous comment, "I couldn't give a (blank) about North Carolina."
5. Wichita State, 22 points (1)
Series record: Kansas leads, 12-3
Last meeting: #14 Wichita State 78, #10 Kansas 65, 3/22/15, Omaha, NE
First of all, no, that first place vote did not come from me. Not much to really say here, as Kansas has historically dominated the Shockers despite WSU's 2-0 advantage in the NCAA Tournament. Voters who commented on their choice of WSU mostly referred to "revenge" or "keeping them in their place."
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Others receiving votes: UCLA 17, Arizona 11, Illinois 8, Syracuse 8, Gonzaga 6, St. John's 6 (1), Maryland 4, Michigan State 4
St. John's received the final first-place vote but only appeared on one other ballot.
Maryland and Michigan State each received one second place vote but did not appear on any other ballots.
18 more schools received at least one point in the voting.
Missouruh, Kentucky, Duke, and North Carolina each appeared on 9 of the 17 ballots.
Wichita State appeared on 7 of the ballots, UCLA appeared on 6 ballots, and Arizona appeared on 4 ballots.
No other school appeared more than three times out of the 17 ballots cast.