Braggin' Rights (known for sponsorship reasons as Bud Light Braggin' Rights, previously Busch Braggin' Rights) is the annual men's college basketball contest between the University of Illinois Fighting Illini of the Big Ten Conference and University of Missouri Tigers of the SEC.
First played in 1980, the game takes place in St. Louis, Missouri, during the month of December. From 1980–93, it was played at the St. Louis Arena, and since 1994, it has been played at Scottrade Center. St. Louis is within convenient driving distance of the two schools' home cities of Columbia, Missouri (2 hours), and Champaign, Illinois (3 hours); many students at both schools come from the area; both schools have a large alumni base in greater St. Louis; and the Scottrade Center has a larger capacity than either school's home arena (State Farm Center for Illinois and Mizzou Arena for Missouri). It is traditionally held over the students' holiday break near the end of December and is nationally televised. One of the most closely contested games in the series was the final game held at the St. Louis Arena on December 22, 1993. Missouri defeated Illinois 108-107 in a game that lasted three overtimes.
Before 2000, the series was fairly evenly matched, with Illinois leading the series 11-8 before the game held in 2000. However, the Illini went on a decade-long winning streak under Bill Self and Bruce Weber, while at the same time Mizzou basketball floundered with Quin Snyder as coach. Tiger fan frustration with not being able to win one of their marquee games boiled over so much that in Snyder's final game, an 82-50 drubbing in 2005, one fan threw a full tub of popcorn on him while he was exiting the arena. Since hiring Mike Anderson in 2006, though, Missouri's fortunes took an upward turn, culminating in an emphatic win in 2009 with the Scottrade Center playing Prince's "1999" following the victory, as a sly reference to the last time Mizzou had won in St. Louis.
The game was not played in 1982, but has been played every year since 1983. Through the 2014 game, Illinois holds a 22-12 edge over Missouri. The name of the victorious team is engraved on a large trophy that, unlike other college rivalry trophies, does not travel home with the winning team. The trophy is displayed in a glass case in the Scottrade Center lobby, where it occupies either an orange-and-blue or black-and-gold space in the cabinet, depending on who won. The other side has a plastic square reading "THE TROPHY BELONGS HERE NEXT YEAR" in the position where the trophy would go.
Prior to 1980, the Tigers and the Illini had an "on-again, off-again" relationship with their interstate rivalry. The official first meeting between the two schools occurred on December 21, 1932, where the Tigers hosted the Illini at Brewer Fieldhouse. The meeting placed Illini head coach Craig Ruby back at the school where he not only excelled as a player, but also where he began his coaching career. Illinois would win the game by a final score of 36-24. The following year the Illini would host the Tigers at Huff Hall and win again by the same score of 36-24. For the next half-century, the two teams would meet for an additional nine times, culminating with a back-and-forth series known as the "Show-Me Classic". This event began in December of 1976 in Columbia, Missouri at the Hearnes Center, where Missouri would defeat Illinois by a final score of 76-75. Over the next three years (1977-79) the two teams would reciprocate home courts until the decision to play on a neutral court was developed and sponsored by Anheuser-Busch prior to the 1980-81 season.
The Braggin' Rights Hoops rivalry has also been crossed over to other NCAA sports, most notably football.
|1980||December 10||Illinois||84-62||Missouri (#14)|
|1981||December 8||Missouri (#13)||78-68 (OT)||Illinois|
|1983||December 28||Illinois (#20)||66-60||Missouri|
|1984||December 6||Illinois (#7)||65-50||Missouri|
|1985||December 21||Illinois (#15)||67-55||Missouri|
|1986||December 23||Illinois (#9)||92-74||Missouri|
|1987||December 22||Illinois||75-63||Missouri (#17)|
|1988||December 19||Illinois (#5)||87-84||Missouri (#10)||18,561|
|1989||December 20||Illinois (#5)||101-93||Missouri (#4)||18,398|
|1991||December 23||Missouri (#16)||61-44||Illinois||18,034|
|1993||December 22||Missouri||108-107 (3OT)||Illinois (#19)|
|1994||December 22||Missouri||76-58||Illinois (#23)||21,714|
|1995||December 20||Illinois (#14)||96-85 (OT)||Missouri (#15)||21,901|
|1998||December 22||Missouri (#15)||67-62||Illinois||22,471|
|1999||December 21||Missouri||78-72||Illinois (#15)||22,484|
|2000||December 21||Illinois (#5)||86-81 (OT)||Missouri||22,089|
|2001||December 22||Illinois (#9)||72-61||Missouri (#8)||22,153|
|2002||December 21||Illinois (#12)||85-70||Missouri (#11)||22,153|
|2003||December 23||Illinois (#21)||71-70||Missouri (#11)||22,153|
|2004||December 22||Illinois (#1)||70-64||Missouri||22,153|
|2005||December 21||Illinois (#6)||82-50||Missouri||22,153|
|2008||December 23||Illinois||75-59||Missouri (#25)||19,586|
|2010||December 22||Missouri (#9)||75-64||Illinois (#21)||21,906|
|2011||December 22||Missouri (#9)||78-74||Illinois (#25)||22,087|
|2012||December 22||Missouri (#12)||82-73||Illinois (#10)||22,139|
|2013||December 21||Illinois||65-64||Missouri (#23)||21,987|
- The rankings listed above were the Associated Press poll rankings at the time of the contest. A blank ranking indicates the team was unranked.
- (OT) denotes an overtime game. (3 OT) denotes a game that required three overtime periods.
- Series Record: Illinois leads 29 to 16
- Current Streak: Illinois, 2 win
- Illinois when ranked: 13-6
- Missouri when ranked: 6-10
- When both teams are ranked: Illinois leads 6-3
- Illinois when unranked: 8-6
- Missouri when unranked: 6-11
- When both teams are unranked: Illinois leads 5-3
- In overtime games: Tied 2-2
- At the St. Louis Arena: Illinois led 21-13
- At Scottrade Center: Illinois leads 13-8
- Illinois' longest winning streak: 9 (2000–08)
- Missouri's longest winning streak: 4 (1991–94, 2009-12)
- Illinois' largest winning margin: 32 points (2005)
- Missouri's largest winning margin: 18 points (1994)
- Closest margin: 1 point, four times in regulation (1992, 2003, 2007, 2013) and once in three overtimes (1993)
|1932||December 21||Illinois||36-24||Missouri||Brewer Fieldhouse|
|1934||January 3||Illinois||36-24||Missouri||Huff Hall|
|1942||December 14||Illinois||51-30||Missouri||Huff Hall|
|1943||December 18||Illinois||39-29||Missouri||Brewer Fieldhouse|
|1946||December 16||Missouri||50-55||Illinois||Brewer Fieldhouse|
|1954||December 4||Illinois||77-69||Missouri||Huff Hall|
|1955||December 10||Missouri||73-74 (OT)||Illinois||Brewer Fieldhouse|
|1976||December 3||Missouri||75-76||Illinois||Hearnes Center|
|1977||December 6||Illinois||96-85||Missouri||Assembly Hall|
|1978||December 5||Illinois||69-57||Missouri||Hearnes Center|
|1979||December 4||Missouri||67-66(OT)||Illinois||Assembly Hall|