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Creighton, Wichita State discuss renewing old acquaintances

Creighton defeated Wichita State 68-65 in the 2013 MVC Tournament title game in St. Louis, the last meeting.
Creighton defeated Wichita State 68-65 in the 2013 MVC Tournament title game in St. Louis, the last meeting. The Wichita Eagle

Since Creighton departed the Missouri Valley Conference in 2013, it played Wichita State in softball, women’s basketball and volleyball, and baseball is coming.

Men’s basketball may be next. What a great potential move for both schools.

“I think it’s going to happen,” Creighton athletic director Bruce Rasmussen said Thursday.

WSU deputy athletic director Darron Boatright is also optimistic.

“We would sure hope so,” he said. “It makes complete sense.”

Boatright said the coaching staffs talked about playing in 2016-17. Both teams need series to start at home next season, so that won’t happen. But 2017-18 and beyond are on the table.

All the usual caveats apply when discussing schedules. They are complicated. Teams want home games. Coaches want to win games. We’ll see. It appeared Kansas State was open to a series a few years ago.

Once schools book a tournament, guarantee games, existing contracts and challenge series, open dates can be scarce.

Creighton, which finishes its BracketBusters obligations on Saturday at Loyola, is working around challenge series with the Big 10 and Pac 12. WSU has the Mountain West series, Tulsa and is looking to start a road series against a Power 5 conference team next season.

There has been no doubt WSU wants to play. Coach Gregg Marshall started his final post-game in Omaha by asking for the series to continue. Rasmussen, asked about it last season during the NCAA Tournament in Omaha, said the Bluejays wanted a chance to play some new teams, such as Oklahoma, before returning to MVC foes.

On Wednesday, he seemed more sure of Wichita State’s place on a future schedule.

“As we filter out some of this, I would be shocked if Wichita State and Creighton don’t play somewhere in basketball down the road,” Rasmussen said. “There was a value in that series and that rivalry.”

My idea is to play the series on a home-Kansas City-home rotation. Every third year, book the Sprint Center on a December Saturday and turn it into an event.

WSU needs rivals. Creighton has Nebraska and it will develop great rivalries in the Big East. This has the potential to be something unique and there is enough history — Booker Woodfox, Matt Braeuer, Anthony Tolliver, Aaron Ellis — that fans should welcome a revival.

Paul Suellentrop: 316-269-6760, @paulsuellentrop

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