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If there's one thing we Midwesterners like, it's owning the bragging rights for our hometown team over a nearby rival. Whether it's high-school football or a municipal softball league, we take pride in our victories and find strength in our hatred for any who would be victorious over us. So puff out your chest and get ready to cheer or rub a victory in a loser's face -- it's time for the Busch Braggin' Rights game! This year's basketball match-up between the University of Missouri and University of Illinois takes place Tuesday, Dec. 22, at Kiel Center. The Illini may have more wins, but Mizzou's got the right to talk trash after their 75-69 win last year at coach Norm Stewart's 700th career victory. This is what it all boils down to for the bi-state area. The battle line is drawn at the Mississippi River, and both sides have something to prove.

-- James A. Duffy

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