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NCAA Softball: Mizzou Host Kansas' First Trip to Columbia Since SEC Move

The University of Kansas will be sending a team to play sports in Columbia for the first time since the Tigers left the Big 12 for the SEC.
The University of Kansas will be sending a team to play sports in Columbia for the first time since the Tigers left the Big 12 for the SEC.Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press
Dan IrwinCorrespondent IIDecember 20, 2016

Rivalry renewed. We hope.

For the first time since the Missouri Tigers left the Big 12 Conference for the SEC, a Kansas Jayhawk team sport will be traveling to Columbia to play, the NCAA announced on Sunday night.

It was late in the selection process, but Missouri was announced as a No. 15 seed in a group of three original Big 6 members in Kansas and Nebraska, as well as Bradley University. But this game to renew the Border War isn't quite in the bag.

Missouri will open up against Bradley, and Nebraska will be paired up against Kansas. If both Missouri and Kansas win, they will then play each other for the first time since Mizzou broke off from the Big 12 and joined the SEC, in any sport.

Former Mizzou softball standout Nicole Hudson was quick to weigh in on Twitter

I want to play in that Columbia regional so bad!! What I wouldn't do for another crack at Kansas and Nebraska. #miz

— Nicole Hudson (@NicoleHudson8) May 12, 2014

Missouri and Kansas faced each other in all sports yearly until Kansas broke off a football contract to continue playing Mizzou. Kansas cited Missouri's conference switch as a move of abandonment. Missouri has been open to playing Kansas, but the feeling is not mutual.

But, that's where NCAA championships become grand. If the game doesn't happen, it will still be a good interaction to have Kansas fans around to talk about the current state and good ol' days of the Border War.

The Tigers will have to avoid getting caught up in all the nostalgic hype and keep focused on Bradley out of the Missouri Valley Conference. The Braves are only 27-30 on the year but would love nothing more than to catch Missouri off guard here.

The winner of the Columbia Regional will play in Tuscaloosa in the Alabama Super-Regional. A week ago, Alabama clinched the SEC championship in Columbia and celebrated on Mizzou's home field in a move Tiger head coach Ehren Earleywine referred to as "bush league."

Follow Dan Irwin on Twitter @danirwinsports or on Facebook.

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