American Culture, Life at KU

The Sunflower Showdown


This Wednesday, The University of Kansas will face off against Kansas State University in the Men’s Basketball Sunflower Showdown. Crowds will fill Allen Fieldhouse, and the two teams will clash for not only bragging rights but also the means to prove which school has the best team in the state. But what exactly is the Sunflower Showdown, and where did it come from? 

In the Beginning…


Ever since the birth of The University of Kansas and Kansas State University there has been a power struggle. It began with a race to become the state’s only flagship university (or the best acknowledged school in the state), and the tension can still be felt today.

According to the LJWorld, “in the years leading up to KU’s founding in 1865, multiple Kansas towns clamored to be home of ‘The Kansas State University,'” (the state’s flagship university) said Mike Reid, director of the KU History Project.

As it happens, Lawrence won that race and now claims The University of Kansas as the state’s flagship university. 



The rivalry between the two schools has far from diminished and has instead turned its focus to athletics, and because the two schools compete in the same conference (The Big 12) they play each other quite often.

Additionally, even though the schools compete in everything from football to rowing, the highest anticipated games are that which are played on the basketball court.

This is probably because both schools have very good basketball teams, and because basketball was born in Kansas making it somewhat of a state sport. 

The Showdown


Therefore, when the two teams collide it is officially called “The Sunflower Showdown” and is led by KU’s Men’s Basketball Team in wins by 188-93; we’re winning for now, but that could change over time, and that’s what makes the games so exciting.

So don’t miss it. The Men’s Basketball Sunflower Showdown will commence this Wednesday at 8 P.M. Central Standard Time. Rock Chalk!


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