Showdown for Relief raises $1.8 million for border-defying cause

Mizzou, KU go head to head for hurricane relief
Posted at 11:17 PM, Oct 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-23 00:18:43-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Showdown for Relief at the Sprint Center on Sunday afternoon may have reignited the basketball border war, but it did so for a cause that crosses state lines.

By halftime KU and Mizzou basketball fans had raised more than $1.75 million for hurricane relief in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. According to KU, $724,480 was raised from 18,000 pay-per-view purchases of the game alone. 

"It's a great gesture, and we really appreciate the support of the fans," Mizzou Head Coach Quonzo Martin said of the match-up. 

Sunday's game marked the first basketball border war since 2012. 

"It's been five years since they played, so we had to come out and watch them," Justin Riley of Lawrence said.

Despite the fact KU and Mizzou were playing for charity, the game was as intense as any NCAA tournament showdown. 

"They gave it 110 percent. I like that it was a scrimmage, but no one acted like it was a scrimmage. We played like it was a real game," Kirsten Gleason, a Jayhawk fan, said.

"If you like college basketball and you didn't like that game, you weren't watching the same game I was. It was phenomenal," Mizzou fan James Lunders, who drove in from Des Moines, said. 

The thrilling game ended with KU on top 93-87. The Showdown for Relief showed borders can divide us, but one game and one cause can unite all fans. 

"The fact that not only Mizzou, but also Kansas, we came together to do something for people who need some help is truly amazing," Scott Bailey, who watched the game from Power & Light, said.

The Showdown for Relief didn't end when the game was over; donations lines stayed open until 10 p.m. on Sunday. We will update this article as soon as a final fundraising total is released.