After Indiana’s statement that the UK/IU series is over for the time being, John Calipari shared his thoughts with ESPN’s Andy Katz:
“We’re not going to play. We’re not going to do a home-and-home. That’s out. They don’t want to play two games in the state of Indiana, which I’m fine with. There are a lot of people who want to play us.”
Cal said he was willing to play both games of a neutral site series in Indiana, and since IU refused to that, the blame lies on them for ending the series:
“We were willing to play them both in the state of Indiana and they said no to that. That means they don’t want to play us.“
By text message, Tom Crean claimed IU’s reason for not agreeing to a neutral site series was that higher ticket prices at Lucas Oil Stadium and other proposed venues would prevent students from being able to attend:
“We couldn’t have gotten our students up there. Prices would have been too much to get them there. We will have around 8,500 students. The bottom line is that they didn’t want to play home-and-home and we did. We looked at it hard but it belongs on campus.”
Although many media members are spinning the end of the series as a win for Cal, who has the power to stand his ground on issues like this, the real losers are the fans. Next season’s game would have been epic, with both teams most likely ranked in the top five. I understand Cal’s reasons for not continuing the series as is, but Crean’s argument that students couldn’t afford neutral site tickets is ludicrous. It seems bridges have been burned, but in the future, I hope the two can come to an agreement so a new generation of fans can enjoy one of the better rivalries in college basketball.