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Preliminary talks have begun about resuming Kentucky vs. Indiana series

PHOTO: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

After years of debate, we may finally have a resolution in the works when it comes to the Kentucky vs. Indiana series.

According to IU athletic director Fred Glass, Indiana and Kentucky have had “very preliminary conversations” about getting the much-anticipated series back up and running.

“We’ve had some very preliminary conversations with Kentucky,” Glass told the media prior to IU’s annual fan event at Huber’s Orchard and Winery. “Of course, (IU coach) Archie (Miller) has a great relationship with (UK) Coach (John) Calipari. I’m optimistic that we’ll get something worked out. I’m hopeful to get something worked out, but there’s nothing to report on that.”

Glass also told reporters that head coach Archie Miller “shares (his) desire to get Kentucky back on the schedule.”

Back in 2016, John Calipari was adamant that a home and home would not be happening with IU again, as Kentucky fans and players were trampled by Indiana fans rushing the court the last time the Cats played in Assembly Hall.

“No, we’re not coming to Indiana,” Calipari told Rich Eisen. “Home and home is not happening. … We talked about playing two years in Indianapolis and they said no. So, those, right now, these schedules are out ahead a couple years. It may be in the future. There may be something in the future.”

Former Indiana coach Tom Crean pushed for the home and home series to continue, while Calipari pushed for neutral court matchups for fans of both sides to participate. Neither side was ever able to come to an agreement.

With Crean gone and Archie Miller in the fold, maybe Indiana is interested in participating in a neutral court matchup? Or has Calipari lightened up on his hatred of Assembly Hall?

Either way, it looks like Indiana will be back on the Kentucky schedule sooner rather than later.


Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

24 Comments for Preliminary talks have begun about resuming Kentucky vs. Indiana series

  1. RickE
    10:17 pm May 30, 2018 Permalink

    IU doesn’t deserve a game w/ UK. Not in Bloomington, under any circumstances.

  2. terwilliger
    10:20 pm May 30, 2018 Permalink

    I don’t want the series to resume until their CURRENT athletic director and CURRENT coach acknowledge what went down in Bloomington the last time we were there. The way that I saw families and CHILDREN treated that night was disgusting and despicable. Until they own up to it, piss on em. We don’t need them.

  3. blitzedanddazed
    11:08 pm May 30, 2018 Permalink

    I am not in favor of renewing the series. The Hoosiers have no class. Do not play the game in any arena, it makes no difference. UK does need IU.

  4. buzzard
    12:06 am May 31, 2018 Permalink

    IU fans are mean, nasty, horrible, dreadful, abominable, atrocious, obnoxious, odious, unsavory, repulsive, disgusting, distasteful, loathsome, hateful, and nauseating.And I don’t like them. We should not give them the honor of kicking their ass.

  5. michaelb
    12:23 am May 31, 2018 Permalink

    It’s not gonna have the same meaning after the cancellation . It was one of my fav series right behind the Louisville / U.K. Game . When I was growing up watching cats it was always a big deal to me & everyone else to top Indiana in hoops. It was senseless that this series got out of Bounds like it did . My opinion on this matter is >>> meh, idc what happens either way now

  6. FlatTopsAndBlockedShots
    2:20 am May 31, 2018 Permalink

    I thought Cal was initially okay with the home and home with the condition of playing two “neutral” site games in Indianapolis as well. Maybe I misread the intention. Either way IU needs UK to get back up, UK doesn’t need IU.

  7. Rembrandt
    7:34 am May 31, 2018 Permalink

    Whether UK should or should not play IU is ultimately a question for the two schools to decide. UK and IU have, in fact, played 55 basketball games against each other since 1924, so most reasonable people won’t be surprised if they play again.

    However, the headline of this column is misleading as to actual facts on the ground. It is public knowledge that the schools have been at loggerheads for some time about the major sticking point. UK wants to play the games at neutral sites, while IU wants to play in Bloomington every other year. Calipari himself has discussed this more than once. Therefore, there must have been communications about it before now. The only thing that has changed is that Crean is gone and Miller has the job now. So the headline should be that Miller is more receptive than Crean was about playing at neutral sites. This was inevitable, not nearly the news headline being depicted here. The “very preliminary conversations” are simply the latest iteration of a process that never stopped, and Mr. Glass is simply saving a little face in view of the fact that IU is being forced by the financial circumstances to finally give in to Cal’s conditions.

  8. ClutchCargo
    8:20 am May 31, 2018 Permalink

    I do miss the good old days of the rivalry, but that ship may have sailed, with IU being irrelevant for so long. And screw the IU fans. They are the absolute worst.

  9. mikeidle01
    8:34 am May 31, 2018 Permalink

    As an IU fan I can assure you this has nothing to do with financials. The break in the series had everything to do with Crean and Cal having polar opposite scheduling philosophies. Crean wanted a soft non-conference schedule and wanted home and home because he knew he would have a shot at winning every other year. Cal has never been averse to playing IU, he just has no interest in playing true road games in the non conference, and he is not alone there. Archie has a much more similar philosophy to Cal when it comes to scheduling, he believes in playing tough games to beef up SOS, but also has as little interest in coming to Lexington as Cal does to Bloomington so it makes sense that this will probably restartin 2019.

    I don’t understand the take on both sides of “we don’t need them”, of course not, both teams finish near the top every year in attendance and revenue and they haven’t played 5 years save for once in March. It makes sense for Cal because Indiana is a recruiting hotbed and it makes sense for Archie because he is trying to rebuild Indiana and competing against the biggest name in college basketball every year can help him do that. It also makes sense because I am sure a lot of UK fans that live along the Indiana border would love it, and almost all IU fans would as well.

    To me this isn’t a matter of anyone being scared (except for Crean), it just didn’t make sense the way it was working and now that you have two coaches that actually know how to schedule and coach (I was never a Crean fan), it makes sense to revisit this. I always liked it better on neutral courts anyways, the two sides of the arena split down the middle with one side red and the other blue was always really cool. As for the court storming, I don’t think you’ll see any of those under Archie, a lot of that was the result of Crean’s “Rah-Rah” style, which he used to cover up his mediocre coaching ability. Still, I would prefer they play this at neutral sites anyway, and it sounds like that is what is happening.

    • Rembrandt
      8:37 am May 31, 2018 Permalink

      As an IU fan, you can’t “assure” us of anything. You can give your opinion.

    • mikeidle01
      8:43 am May 31, 2018 Permalink

      OK, sure. In my opinion it has nothing to do with with financials. I am basing this off of the fact that Indiana was the 5th highest grossing college basketball program last year. But it’s just my opinion.

    • buzzard
      8:44 am May 31, 2018 Permalink

      As a UK fan I can “assure you” that IU fans were totally out of control the last game in Bloomington. And that is the reason UK will never play there again!

    • buzzard
      8:48 am May 31, 2018 Permalink

      But that’s just Coach Cal’s opinion!

    • mikeidle01
      8:51 am May 31, 2018 Permalink

      Everyone has their bad eggs, I went to every game at Rupp during the brief time the series was played home and home and I wasn’t exactly greeted with southern hospitality, that’s just part of it. I expected that walking in there, if it was going to scare me or bother me I wouldn’t pay to go to the game.

      That being said, court storming is dumb and should never be done. Especially at a school like Indiana that wants to be relevant again. Nothing is a greater indicator of irrelevance than storming a court after winning a game. I was at that game and did not storm the court. I don’t see any need in debating this any further though because I think it would be a long time before these teams played a home and home again. And I think that is the way it should be.

    • Thanks for your comments Mike. Balanced indeed.

    • Rembrandt
      10:08 am May 31, 2018 Permalink

      Okay, this is my opinion. UK leads the all time series 32-25, so it has been a robust, competitive series. As a younger man, I used to look forward to attending these games. While there are bad apples in all fan bases, Bloomington is the only visiting venue where I have ever been spat upon (and it was more than once). Fan enthusiasm makes rivalries, but the enthusiasm for a renewal from UK’s fan base is currently at a low ebb. From our point of view, the reasons are understandable. With all due respect to Archie Miller, IU needs renewal much more than UK needs it, because IU basketball currently has much more to gain and less to lose. That’s why IU will agree to Cal’s conditions. You say it “has nothing to do with financials”, but Power 5 athletic directors ultimately make deals like this one for financial and national profile reasons. I have attended many previous UK-IU games, but I will think twice before doing it again. It would be an interesting game, but no longer one of the most interesting on our schedule. Bottom line – IU has not done a good job of running their basketball program, and there are consequences for that.

    • I agree financials is a part of this. Mostly though, I think it’s because IU wants to raise their profile again. If they had only had security keep their crowd from trampling our folks in 2011 they may still be playing.

    • mikeidle01
      10:40 am May 31, 2018 Permalink

      Nothing you said is wrong. We can debate “bad encounters” as visiting fans all day and we won’t get anywhere so I will leave that aside. I will say it again,I think there is zero chance that this series is a home and home and that is fine, I would prefer it that way. I don’t think either fan base gets quite as riled up when they are playing at a neutral site.

      Would this series bring more money into both programs? Yes. Would it benefit IU much more than UK? Yes. Not denying either one of those. But neither one of those make this game a necessity. Indiana is a part of the Crossroads Classic, Gavitt Games, and ACC/B10 Challenge every year. They are currently playing a series against UofL and start one next year with Arizona. High profile games and money are not major issues for them. I think the main driver of this is the history of the series. I do think IU wants/needs it more because they are trying to recover from, as you said, years of bad management of their basketball program. Letting Tom Crean run your program for so long has consequences such as losing a series your fan base cared about. We don’t have a Louisville like UK does, so I get it, UK fans are not as passionate about it.

      Maybe it’s just me personally, I want the series real bad. I live in Louisville and am married to a UK grad, so those games were a lot of fun for us. I understand that Cal probably doesn’t care whether or not he plays Indiana, he likes Archie and it probably helps him with recruits from the area, but he’s probably indifferent.I understand the UK does not need this series, but it was a fun series when it was played before, so if they can make it work again on neutral site; awesome, let’s do it.

  10. sprtphan
    8:34 am May 31, 2018 Permalink

    Bring it back alternating neutral sites. It’s a good game everyone can attend without spending a fortune.

  11. Jiminy Crickets
    9:52 am May 31, 2018 Permalink

    Now that turtleneck is out we can schedule Indy/Louisville like it used to be. Joe hall refused to go to Bloomington and Ol Bobby refused to play at Rupp. Having a marquee game in Louisville is good for UKs program

    • Rembrandt
      10:18 am May 31, 2018 Permalink

      I doubt this game will ever again be played in Louisville. I think Chicago or St. Louis is far more likely.

    • Jiminy Crickets
      11:25 am May 31, 2018 Permalink

      Maybe, but Calipari suggested 2 games in Indy followed by one in Louisville. Creek decliners, at that time UK was talking freedom hall.

    • Jiminy Crickets
      11:26 am May 31, 2018 Permalink

      ….Creen declined…

    • mikeidle01
      1:07 pm May 31, 2018 Permalink

      That was what made me mad. When it came out after the series was canceled it also was reported that UK offered to play the game in Indy every year and IU turned it down. That was infuriating and also kills the common IU fan narrative that Cal is afraid of Indiana.