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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: More In-state Basketball Games, Please

On Tuesday, I broke down the strength of this non-conference schedule for 2013-14, and concluded that it will be one of John Calipari’s best non-conference schedules.  Often times, it is the second tier games that make or break the difficulty of the schedule.  UK will always have the UNC’s and Louisville’s of the world on the schedule.  But it’s Boise State and Belmont that make the schedule especially tough this year.  Those are mid-major teams with high NCAA Tournament hopes and the ability, on a great night, to challenge UK.  But I have to wonder: why not give a little more love to the in-state schools? 

Frankly, WKU has made the last 2 tournaments.  Murray State has won games in the tournament TWICE in the last couple years.  Morehead State beat Louisville just 3 years ago in the tournament.  Eastern Kentucky has a really awesome looking mascot.  But the point is scheduling these teams would not decrease the quality of the schedule one bit.  Would we rather see WKU and EKU in Rupp Arena or UNC-Asheville and Robert Morris?  Below are the 5 in-state Division-1 schools not named Louisville in the state and the times UK has played them in the John Calipari era:  

Morehead State: 2009 and 2012
Western Kentucky: 2012 (NCAA Tournament, Last regular season game was 2001)
Eastern Kentucky: NONE (Last scheduled game was 2006)
Murray State: NONE (Teams have never played)
Northern Kentucky: Scheduled for 2013

How big of an issue is this for me?  Not very big.  But look, I am a WKU alum.  In my 4 years in Bowling Green, I saw WKU play UL twice, play Murray every year, Eastern Kentucky every year, and never even sniff playing UK.  And I can tell you in those 4 years, WKU would not have beaten UK once, or played them within 10 points.  Point being, there was no harm in scheduling WKU.  All it would do is give the UK fans another non-conference game that would garner more interest while keeping the schedule strong.

And if you’re argument is that you are scared these teams might actually beat the Cats, then what does that say about you?  That you are scared of mid-major programs in the state?  And that is no way to approach a schedule.  I see no negatives to scheduling these teams.  They wouldn’t try and make you play in their gyms, big interest in the state, small chance of losing.  I don’t see any reason not to seriously consider this.    

I just wonder what you all think.  Do you want to see more in-state schools on the schedule on a yearly basis?  Or is that an unimportant factor in the schedule for you? 

On a completely unrelated note to a trivial basketball schedule, take a minute to watch this video of a CBS report from Oklahoma.  So much grief in that state right now, it’s great to see an occassional bright story.  Especially when it comes to family pets:  

Follow me on twitter @BryantheIntern

Article written by Bryan the Intern

39 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: More In-state Basketball Games, Please



  1. Michael F. Jox
    9:07 am May 22, 2013 Permalink

    Thanks for posting that video and making me cry in front of my co-workers…it’s not like they see that enough as it is



  2. quickie
    9:15 am May 22, 2013 Permalink

    I have two degrees from EKU. I do not want UK and EKU playing because I hate ALL UK opponents.



  3. Well...
    9:18 am May 22, 2013 Permalink

    My biggest problem with scheduling in-state schools is that it’s not good to embarrass family. They are, after all, part of the Kentucky family, even if they’re not a part of the University of Kentucky family. For example, this upcoming season is an example of one in which UK has potential to put a whipping on any of those schools… You can/should do that to your rivals and no-relations, but not to family.



  4. JoeMoney333
    9:19 am May 22, 2013 Permalink

    man that video… Right in the feels…



  5. Racer
    9:22 am May 22, 2013 Permalink

    Murray State vs Kentucky in 2014. Somebody make this happen!!



  6. MrJohnsonUK
    9:22 am May 22, 2013 Permalink

    “Eastern Kentucky has a really awesome looking mascot.”

    SOLD



  7. CatsFan4Life
    9:27 am May 22, 2013 Permalink

    As a lifelong UK fan and a grad of Murray State I both really want and really don’t want to see the two teams play. It would be hard to watch. Maybe as long as it was not a tournament game.



  8. West Sixth
    9:38 am May 22, 2013 Permalink

    Please feature West Sixth Brewing Company and their plight on the blog sometime today. The more support the better!



  9. KyGeography
    9:38 am May 22, 2013 Permalink

    EKU may be the favorite in the OVC next year.



  10. why
    9:39 am May 22, 2013 Permalink

    Why would you? It’s a no win situation, UK beats those teams which they should you hear, “you should you’re Kentucky.” If we don’t they make t-shirts and we hear about it for years. Just look at WKU for that, last year in football when they beat us you thought they beat the New England Patriots.



  11. Kiddekat
    9:52 am May 22, 2013 Permalink

    I see the point. There is a good chance that a friend or neighbor, or a friend of a friend or neighbor may attend a local University. Don’t think that would happen with say a Marist or some such. Adds interet to the game.



  12. Jack
    9:54 am May 22, 2013 Permalink

    Back during C. M. Newton’s tenure, UK did this, playing each state school on a rotating basis. Murray State opted not to participate; I believe because all games were at Rupp (or Freedom Hall). NKU, of course, wasn’t included, being Div II at the time. I think fans did prefer that to the December cakewalk-tour. Not sure what happened to it. Just kinda faded away quietly.



  13. Ridge Runner
    9:54 am May 22, 2013 Permalink

    Hearts remain soft for the tornado victims and families -for sure.

    Not being a alum of any in-state school that UK plays, I’m not as attached perhaps as others -but, a rotational game with each school every year would be ok with me. Just schedule one school in state differently from year to year.



  14. Ridge Runner
    9:56 am May 22, 2013 Permalink

    7- I certainly see your point there.



  15. Real UK Fan
    9:59 am May 22, 2013 Permalink

    I see nothing to be gained by UK if they play the in state schools. I would prefer to play other teams and this includes ALL instate schools.



  16. Mr. Grammar
    10:01 am May 22, 2013 Permalink

    “And if you’re argument is that you are scared these teams might actually beat the Cats…”

    *your



  17. tltaworl
    10:06 am May 22, 2013 Permalink

    There is something to be gained. If you live in Richmond or BG or Murray etc… it is a big deal when those teams make it up to Rupp. It brings the state together even if people are fans of both teams. It is also part of giving back when you bring a school like Transy or NKU in. I think Cal has done a good job of reaching out to people he has relationships with or his players have relationships with.

    (Jones got to play in Portland; Going to Texas for the twins and Randle; Clarion; Bruiser Flint etc…)

    On another note, BTI, If you are a WKU alum, then why are you still an intern? Is that what a degree from Western gets you?



  18. Cat Fan in Georgia
    10:07 am May 22, 2013 Permalink

    15 – By “ALL” instate schools you mean Louisville?



  19. Musehobo
    10:10 am May 22, 2013 Permalink

    Nice job, BTI, on the post. People are discussing the idea you gave and not the manner in which you delivered it. This may actually be a 50/50 debate within the state, but people are making good points. I’m really in the middle. I would like to hear more about the financial benefits these schools would receive. Where does that money go? Back to the athletic departments?



  20. Born a Cat Graduated a Racer
    10:10 am May 22, 2013 Permalink

    While i would still be for UK no matter who they played i think Murray would have beat the cats this past season. Then you get into a situation where you paid a school to come to Rupp to beat you… But last season was a fluke and normally the cats would take care of business and send the Racers back to Murray with a fat check and a smile cause they got to play in front 24,300 people in basketball Mecca. Everybody wins



  21. ExKSRfan
    10:18 am May 22, 2013 Permalink

    BTI Sucks!! You really are an idiot, proving it everyday with your insane posts.



  22. Blue
    10:21 am May 22, 2013 Permalink

    I have heard many times that Murray simply won’t play the Cats unless it is in a home-and-home setup…And that is never going to happen. kentucky would have nothing to gain and everything to lose, so unless Murray waivers on that, they won’t ever play Kentucky unless it’s in the tournament.

    Now, I don’t know for certain if that is true, but I have heard that multiple times from a variety of sources, so there’s probably something to it.



  23. Blue
    10:23 am May 22, 2013 Permalink

    20…I don’t know if you noticed, but Murray was mediocre and a huge disappointment this year. They weren’t talented enough to hang with Kentucky, even this past season. Sure, Canaan probably would have gone off for 40, but no one else would have been able to score.



  24. yeah
    10:36 am May 22, 2013 Permalink

    Yes. The huge amounts of money UK pays to schools outside the state is silly. we should be supporting the instate schools instead.



  25. rick
    10:46 am May 22, 2013 Permalink

    No, I like all the schools in Ky, except for the cards and rather not have to cheer against them.



  26. Homestead Fred
    10:56 am May 22, 2013 Permalink

    In 2001, WKU did beat UK. But I agree, I would rather see any in-state school instead of the mid-majors UK is playing. It would also sell tickets faster.



  27. jhnny
    10:56 am May 22, 2013 Permalink

    UK should play AT LEAST one in-state school every year. Glad to see they are playing NKU. Most teams love to come to Rupp because of the pay day- why not give the local schools that pay day?



  28. Morehead grad
    11:02 am May 22, 2013 Permalink

    I graduated from Morehead State in the late 80’s and the vast majority of students there were UK fans. I think it is good to play in state schools and gets them some extra revenue that should stay in the state.



  29. Born a Cat Graduated a Racer
    11:06 am May 22, 2013 Permalink

    23… They weren’t really a disappointment, they just didn’t have the point guard they were supposed to have. Zay Jackson was originally going to start at the 1 spot leaving Canaan to run the 2 to get open to drain some 3s and drive the lane when the opportunity was there. Instead Zay Jackson hit some hillbilly in the Murray WalMart parking lot with his car and was suspended from the team leaving Canaan to facilitate all the plays AND be the most lethal 3 point shooter in the conference. And all drama aside they lost to Belmont by 2 in overtime in the OVC championship… I don’t know if you noticed…



  30. Homestead Fred
    11:31 am May 22, 2013 Permalink

    Matt,

    Would you still be scared of this little dog out of the rubble?



  31. RacerCat
    11:36 am May 22, 2013 Permalink

    Yes, I would love to see Murray State and UK play on a regular basis. I love a chance to go to Lexington and we have season tix for the Racers. It only makes sense.



  32. Bledsoe's Biceps
    11:45 am May 22, 2013 Permalink

    For the non-conference home games, I’d much rather UK play the in state schools than the out of state powder puffs. a) Those schools get a big check that can do wonders for their athletic programs. b) There will be much more fan interest and especially the season ticket holders who shell out major money for their seats.



  33. TOPS
    12:00 pm May 22, 2013 Permalink

    WKU beat UK’s ass in 2001! GO TOPS! ROLL DAMN TOPS!!!!!!!! 2014 NATIONAL CHAMPS



  34. Really???
    12:09 pm May 22, 2013 Permalink

    Come on 33 WKU wont even beat Murray in Diddle this year.



  35. Jeff
    12:25 pm May 22, 2013 Permalink

    Keep the cash in the State, play all in State schools possible.



  36. Play'em
    12:33 pm May 22, 2013 Permalink

    I am all for playing the in-state schools rather than the out of state directional schools. There is certainly more fan interest in playing Murray State than UNC-Asheville. For those afraid of losing once in a while, we are the top program in the country and have been for over 80 years. An occasional loss to Western will not kill us. Heck, we loss to Robert Morris last year and are the pre-season #1 for the upcoming year.



  37. CatRacerFan
    1:01 pm May 22, 2013 Permalink

    As a Murray State grad, and a die hard UK fan. I would love to see my Racers play my Cats. But, it would be my worst nightmare as I’d have to cheer against Murray. With that said, don’t expect UK and Murray to ever play in the regular season due to disagreements about money and traveling expenses.

    However, I do think UK should play EKU and Morehead on a regular basis. The Colonels are only thirty minutes away and Morehead is about an hour away. Both fans base would pack Rupp and it would be a festive atmosphere even though the Cats would likely kill both teams.



  38. Tom Blevins
    1:35 pm May 22, 2013 Permalink

    I have no objection to the Cats playing other in state schools, except for Murray. Murray wants to play us on their own terms, they come to Rupp, we go to the Regional Special Events Center in Murray. They cou;dn’t give us the financial reward that we could get from some other school that would come to Rupp and not expect a return visit. If Murray wanted to go to Louisville and play us at Freedom Hall, I think that would be a good idea. But I don’t want a home and home with them.



  39. Jordon W
    3:53 pm May 22, 2013 Permalink

    On an aesthetic level, as a Kentucky native and being a WKU alum, I would love to see this happen. But if I were Cal, I’d never do it.

    You ask for a negative, here it is: A loss to WKU would be terrible, a win would be meaningless. What’s UK’s incentive for scheduling WKU or Murray? You ask for a negative, I’m nowhere near seeing a positive.