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Rick Stansbury wants a “state tournament;” should we?

Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports

Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports

Rick Stansbury was hired in Bowling Green a little over two years ago. Since getting the job, he has brought in two five-star recruits and taken a team to the NIT semi-finals.

First, I should start with some background. I am a recent graduate of WKU. During my time on the Hill, I covered Stansbury’s WKU teams. I learned very quickly from the former Mississippi State head coach that he wants to play Kentucky.

That leads us to this past week. Stansbury was in Louisville where he proposed a state of Kentucky tournament. He said:

“I wish we could come up with some kind of tournament. … How we could get Kentucky and Louisville, ourself, and another school in a tournament somewhere. It’d be great for everybody. You’d get three of the flagship programs in the country tradition-wise.”

For more quotes from his entire visit to Louisville, you can click here.

My guess is Stansbury is basing this off of the Crossroads Classic that the state of Indiana does. Each year, Purdue, Indiana, Butler and Notre Dame meet in Indianapolis and play two games similar to the Champions Classic.

Should Kentucky do something similar? Maybe we have four teams, but guarantee that Kentucky and Louisville never play during the classic. For example, the first year could have Kentucky vs. NKU/Murray State and WKU vs. Louisville.

This could replace the Adolph Rupp Classic and add more fun to the non-conference schedule. I would be on board for something similar to be adopted.

In fact, if we wanted to get really interesting, we could make it an eight team tournament. The state of Kentucky has seven Division One basketball teams. What if those seven teams plus one of the other teams in the state played in a tournament?

How it would work? The tournament could occur every two years. It would rotate between four different arenas around the state. One year the Yum Center in Louisville could host, one year could be Memorial Coliseum/Rupp Arena in Lexington, one year could be BB&T Arena in Highland Heights and one year could be at Diddle Arena in Bowling Green.

The bracket would be a random draw. Each team would be guaranteed three games. This would allow a direct showing of the ranking of the teams in the state. For example, here is how it could look if this tournament was hosted next season:

Screen Shot 2017-11-07 at 11.01.46 AM

The guarantee in creating this tournament would be that Kentucky and Louisville would automatically be one separate sides, so that they could only play in the championship game if necessary.

We can always go back to Adolph Rupp’s opinion on playing in-state schools other than UofL. He didn’t see any value in it and while I do agree with it, I would like to see an event like this at some point.

So now I ask you, which system would you prefer? Or would you rather not have anything like it? Vote in the poll below and if you have a better idea, please let me know in the comment section below.


Article written by Sam Gormley

Follow me on Twitter @GormleyKSR; "The Whitest Man in the World"-JRock

18 Comments for Rick Stansbury wants a “state tournament;” should we?

    4:10 pm June 24, 2018 Permalink

    The only way I think UK/Cal would agree to something like this is if all proceeds went towards charity. Otherwise, UK would have to get the lion share of the proceeds, because they would, by far, have the most fan draw.

  2. JTHinton
    4:11 pm June 24, 2018 Permalink

    There wasn’t any value to it in Rupp’s day, but a new version of the Rupp Classic gives us, in theory, wins against four D1 schools, and some quality ones at that. No benefit in scheduling EKU Murray or Bellarmine, though.

  3. Rabbi Li
    4:16 pm June 24, 2018 Permalink

    We have zero reason to play a tournament like this.

    It only benefits WKU (giving them relevance & an opportunity for TV time potentially against UK).

    Kentucky has teams we want to play that we can’t fit on our schedule… and you are proposing this (as a self admitted WKU homer).

    In Football it’s different (and the reason KY would play an EKU) because all the teams are recruiting from within the state and Kentucky has a zero chance of getting beat. The UK vs WKU football matchup is a great example of what can happen… and why it was wiped off the schedule quickly.

    In basketball Kentucky gains nother here… if we want a player from within the state we get them.

    • Sam Gormley
      4:21 pm June 24, 2018 Permalink

      I am not the one proposing this. Stansbury is, but I am for it, because why not? I’d rather play WKU/Murray/NKU than IPFW or Canisius. That’s just my opinion though.

    • JTHinton
      5:01 pm June 24, 2018 Permalink

      It would mean more to the fans to play the in state schools rather than UIC or ETSU. As long as Murray, Western, and Northern are in the tops of their conferences, there’s no reason to not

    • JTHinton
      5:15 pm June 24, 2018 Permalink

      to play the tourney

  4. UKinIN
    4:36 pm June 24, 2018 Permalink

    I went to WKU and I’m also a UK fan. Stansbury is only interested in raising WKU’s profile. That’s why it’s his idea. I’m not a fan of the majority of UK’s non-conference schedule so this idea intrigued me. However, I wouldn’t want a situation where UK and U of L play more than once a year and I think that these games would be a bigger deal for the smaller schools than UK or U of L. Norte Dame, Purdue, IU and Butler are all bigger programs than the teams after UK and U of L in KY.

    • tree_gardener
      5:00 pm June 24, 2018 Permalink

      How are you not a fan of the majority of our non conference schedule? We can’t play elite teams for every single non conference game. We consistently have one of the best non conference schedules in the nation.

  5. deazysUK
    4:51 pm June 24, 2018 Permalink


  6. shelby
    5:17 pm June 24, 2018 Permalink

    Stupid idea; if rick wants to play uk, come to Rupp arena.

  7. Hakmer
    5:21 pm June 24, 2018 Permalink

    Any year it’s not held in Rupp uk loses three home game revenues. Maybe get close in yum but still big loss 2 out of 4 years. Also no advantage for uk to play. If they win..they was ‘sposed to. If they lose…..

  8. lexcatfan2367
    5:46 pm June 24, 2018 Permalink

    Outside of Louisville, playing the other state teams benefit us in no way.

  9. mashburnfan1
    6:13 pm June 24, 2018 Permalink

    I see the dumb ones saying, “nothing to gain” and win you are supposed to but lose and it is disaster”. I hope those dumb a$$es know that can be said for over 50% of the teams on our schedule. I actually think there should be 2 seperate four team tourneys. That way it is only 2 games off our schedule, better for fans for UK to be playing WKU than Monmouth. If you did 2 tourneys one bracket have WKU, U6, UK and rotate the 4th each year so each team gets in that bracket every 5 years. Play the bigger bracket in Cincy or something {may be personal choice for me since I live in Central OH.} But why not play it, yes we should win and if we can’t we should be ashamed, just as if we lose to Monmouth.

    6:33 pm June 24, 2018 Permalink

    3 flagship? HUH?

  11. Dowser
    7:26 pm June 24, 2018 Permalink

    That’s laughable

  12. Chief_G
    8:16 pm June 24, 2018 Permalink

    What was the Adolph Rupp Classic? I don’t remember it, and Google shows it as a high school tournament.

  13. jaws2
    9:32 pm June 24, 2018 Permalink

    Why would UK or uOFsmell want to lose a home and home series and do this? Absolutely no reason financially or otherwise.

  14. FrankySSSuper
    11:24 am June 25, 2018 Permalink

    Worrying that a UK loss would look bad against some of these teams sounds pretty cowardly to me. It’d be good money for charity or the whole state. I’d say go for the 8 team one. If it benefits WKU more than UK, so be it. I don’t think UK is necessarily hurting. I’m also pretty sure that every one of these games would be so hyped they’d sell out.