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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Here’s Hoping Archie Miller Helps Bring Back IU-UK Rivalry


Mike Flynn led the Cats with 22 points. Image via Jon Scott @BigBlueHistory

I get it.  I really do.  I understand the reality of the situation between the University of Kentucky and Indiana University.  I get what happened in 2012 in Bloomington.  I get the animosity between John Calipari-Mitch Barnhart and Fred Glass-Tom Crean.  Both sides have been petty in different regards and neither side is completely in the right.  The issues between those parties were legitimate but the fact is that their problems robbed this fanbase and IU’s fanbase of one of the best rivalries we had.  And before the comments section is flooded with “they don’t deserve us” and “that wasn’t really a rivalry anymore” and “they’re below us” let me remind you of two things:

  1. They’ve beaten us 2 out of the last 3 times we’ve played.
  2. Winthrop and UNC-Greensboro and Wofford and Belmont and UMKC and whoever else will litter the schedule every year don’t have nearly the meaning and excitement that the UK-IU games had, whether or not you think they are “worthy” or not.

IU’s program has absolutely dropped over the last few years and has never been at the level of the Bob Knight era but frankly, there are only a couple programs that can say they currently challenge UK year in and year out (Duke, North Carolina, Kansas, maybe Michigan State).  Indiana is still a notable name in the college basketball world and I enjoyed playing them every year.  And for those of us living in Louisville, that rivalry took on added meaning because we interacted with Hoosier fans more often than those from the mountains or Southern Kentucky.  

With the hiring of Archie Miller and his relationship, or reported relationship, with John Calipari, my hope is talks resume to get that game back on the schedule.  Now, the big issue that will arise is WHERE to play the games because Kentucky is certainly not going back to Assembly Hall and there really isn’t an arena that UK can play in besides Rupp Arena since Freedom Hall has fallen into disrepair and the Yum Center is certainly out.  But if egos and past issues could be set aside, a yearly game in Indianapolis with a game at Rupp every 3rd year seems like a fair compromise.  I’m sure many would disagree but as a fan, I don’t care about coaches and AD’s problems.  I care about watching good basketball games.  

And you would be a fool to deny the impact IU has had on our history.  The only non-conference teams UK has played more in its history are Georgia Tech, which used to be in the SEC, and Notre Dame.  The Cats and Hoosiers played every year from 1969 through 2012.  You can’t deny they are a part of our history and the ability to renew that history is right there in front of us.

Maybe the ship has sailed and having a friend of Coach Cal now in charge won’t matter in the least.  Maybe we’ll have to wait for Fred Glass and John Calipari to leave before this can be seriously considered.  But consider me one fan who would be more than happy to see a cupcake off the schedule and IU back on.  It is just basketball after all. 

Article written by Bryan the Intern

19 responses to “BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Here’s Hoping Archie Miller Helps Bring Back IU-UK Rivalry”

  1. Sentient Third Eye

    It all comes down to whether Archie Miller is smart enough to understand it benefits both schools to play on neutral courts so they can maximize exposure. Tom Crean’s insistence that UK follow IU down the path of self-marginalization was insane.

  2. catsarerunnin

    As a lifelong Cats fan I could care less if we play IU. I know the history but I also remember the last game in Bloomington. Not that we lost but the behavior of IU fans after the game. I have friends who were cursed and spat on as the were leaving that game….and that was after IU won. Imagine if they had lost. I lost all respect for IU and their fans after that game. Their irrelevant. Let’s keep them that way.

  3. ClutchCargo

    I definitely would like to see the series revived, but not if it involves any games played on IU’s home court. IU fans are the worst, and the ones that show up for that game are the worst of the worst.

  4. CatsfaninFL

    Yah, sorry, but I disagree unless they want to return to the Indy/L’ville split. We gain nothing playing them in that dilapidated arena. I lived in Indiana for 4 years and they were great people except when it came to Kentucky. They absolutely hate all things Kentucky… state, not just University… and I could never understand why. It only intensified when they got busted for infractions and could not sit on their holier-than-thou thrown. I hated to see that rivalry go, but I’m fine with it never coming back if they insist on home and home to treat our fans like crap.

  5. Harrelson55

    Indiana is nothing anymore. We don’t need to play them. We have the Louisville rivalry. Could care less if we never play them again but at least Crean is gone, they become a bit more likable.

  6. runningunnin.454

    What for?

  7. david8577

    It’s the IU fanbase that’s the issue.

  8. GroundControlToNumber9

    Leave it up to BTI to find a turd floating in the pond and write a story about it.

    Kentucky gains nothing for playing them… Bob Knight is gone.

    Let them decide to do with their s h i t fanbase. Why would we even consider babysitting them?

    1. Sentient Third Eye

      You make a good point. IU is not like UK or even UNC where the program is larger than the coach. It’s a school that had one legendary coach who was the reason they mattered, and now they really don’t. Even Duke without Coach K has more tradition than IU without Knight. IU is about slightly above Florida and slightly below UCLA on the pecking order (maybe more than slightly after Alford dissed them).

  9. Poppschmidty

    I’m cool with a home/home series. It’s college basketball and 2 storied programs…there’ll be plenty of exposure. Go Cats!

    1. Yev

      IU has a storied history, not present. They are completely irrelevant in modern college basketball. Havent been to the fnial four since 2002. Since the last time they went to the final four, 31 different teams not named Indiana have made the final four. Sure KY-IU would get exposure, but no more than KY-AnyDecentSchool. What does IU bring to the table? Nothing really, other than to appease the part of the UK fanbase that would like to see the rivalry. What does UK bring to the table? UK brings the exposure, national attention, and a chance for IU to grow their program. To that I say, pass, let IU toil in mediocrity. Not to mention that there is something to be said for playing games further away than Indianapolis. Some recruits from the west coast would like to have 1 game closer to home to make it easier for their families to travel to see them play in person.

    2. Poppschmidty

      HOME/HOME W/ GONZAGA IT IS! LOL

  10. IndyPJ

    As a UK grad living in Indianapolis, I would LOVE to see this match-up come back on the schedule. I have to deal with these fans on a daily basis but I also don’t think we should go to Assembly Hall because the school has proven that they will let their students do whatever they want (including racist chants towards a native american player). Do it in Indy or Cincinnati and split the tickets. The IU students don’t care enough to travel.

    1. Sentient Third Eye

      Alternating between Indy and Cincy would work if we’re going to do it. The schedule is so full of more important games, though. Every game can’t be against Power-5 teams, and we already regularly have Louisville, UNC and alternating Duke, Kansas and Michigan State. Maybe we can get IU into an alternating rotation with someone, but they aren’t important enough anymore to crash the Champions Classic. It’s tough to make it all work.

  11. CATandMONKEY

    Thing is UK put forth a proposal a for neutral site series, Indiana refused.
    They aren’t worth it.

  12. buzzard

    IU fans are horrible, dreadful, atrocious, offensive, obnoxious, unsavory, repulsive, disgusting, loathsome people… who smell bad. Why on earth would we EVER play on their pitiful excuse for a basketball arena and subject our players and fans touch horrible people? They absolutely have no right to share the same court as the Cats. IU does not matter. I don’t even like driving in Indiana. I hope we never give them the honor of playing the best college basketball program of all time.

    I HATE IU!!!

  13. BobKYCats

    As an Eastern Kentucky boy who has spent most of his life in Southern Indiana, I desperately want this back on the schedule. Play it in Cincinnati. It’s a true neutral site that is easy access to both fan bases.

    If it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen. But I was able to be present for the masterpiece that was the IU-UK game in the 93 season, and I really want that to be able to happen again.

  14. za

    I’d rather bring back the Notre Dame series.

  15. reedwizard

    Absolutely not. Cal offered to play them at Indy/Lou split like we used to and they refused.
    They schedule UL in that exact same schedule instead.
    Screw them

    PS – they blow and aren’t worth our time. We should play BUTLER instead. Way better program