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The Perfect Day to Play the Kentucky-Louisville Basketball Game

The Kentucky-Louisville basketball game has been buried into the busiest part of the sports calendar for far too long.  It’s time to make a change, one that all parties will agree is a win-win-win.

This year’s game is scheduled for December 29, the same day as the College Football Playoff.  It’s the worst possible date in a week where bowl games have already captured the nation’s attention.  Like last year, it could conflict with a potential UK or UofL bowl game.  The SEC and the ACC has ties to the Belk Bowl, which will be played at noon on December 29.

The week between the Christmas and New Year’s has become the traditional time slot for the Bluegrass basketball rivalry.  Since the regular season series resumed in 1984, the game has been play outside of the holiday season seven times.  Most recently, there was a three-year stretch between between 04-06 when the game was played in the middle of December.  That’s not the perfect date.  The perfect date is the week before and coincides with another great tradition in college sports.

The perfect date for the Kentucky-Louisville basketball game is the same day as the Army-Navy football game.  First suggested by former KSR colleague John Wilmhoff, there are multiple reasons why this is the ideal date.

1. Army-Navy is the only significant sporting event on the national calendar.  Bowl games have not yet begun, giving an opportunity for college basketball to capitalize.

2. There are no conference conflicts. The biggest obstacle to moving the game into February is the conference basketball schedule.  The ACC has no incentive to accommodate Kentucky-Louisville when they already have other great rivalries to boast.

3. Each team is already playing decent non-conference opponents.  This year Louisville will play Indiana on December 8.  On that same date Kentucky will travel to Madison Square Garden to play Seton Hall.  At this point in the year, each team will already have a few warm-ups against weaker non-conference foes and neither fan base will have a problem ending their non-conference schedule with a comparable above average opponent like Seton Hall of Indiana.

4. It’s Perfect for CBS.  Army-Navy already draws a huge national audience. If you add another marquee college basketball rivalry, the network can market the rivalry angle and kickstart their college basketball coverage with a bang.

5. National Attention. It’s similar to the previous point, but it’s worth restating: if you coincide the Bluegrass rivalry with one of the nation’s oldest rivalries, it validates Kentucky vs. Louisville on a national scale in a way that was only replicated at the 2012 Final Four.

Putting the Kentucky-Louisville game on the same date as the Army-Navy rivalry makes too much sense.  There’s no good reason why all parties can’t make this happen to create a perfect scenario for the Battle of the Bluegrass.


Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

20 Comments for The Perfect Day to Play the Kentucky-Louisville Basketball Game

  1. Parker_UKFanNC
    3:08 pm August 25, 2018 Permalink

    Anything to get it to where Kentucky could go to the Bell Bowl so I could actually see them in a bowl game. It’s 30 minutes from here and I feel wake Forest was closer to our level of play than Northwestern anyway

    • CKTermy23
      3:15 pm August 25, 2018 Permalink

      Actually we were one less dropped pass in the endzone away from winning that game.

    • Greatcatfan
      4:51 am August 26, 2018 Permalink

      And one sissy ref.

  2. CKTermy23
    3:12 pm August 25, 2018 Permalink

    This doesn’t really matter. We beat UofL last year by 29 and that UofL team is better than the UofL team they are this year and UK is way better than the team we were last year conclusion we probably beat them by 40+

    • ukkatzfan
      9:05 pm August 25, 2018 Permalink

      At one time that would have been a good idea. But since that time coach 2 has driven U6 into a place closer to where it deserves to be. It is going to be quite some time before this division 3 version of U6 has a chance of being considered a rivalry of big brother again. For this game to be broadcast on same day as Army/navy , that would be a joke. Aside from the BBN draw for a major network, tickets should be sold for $3 each and game shown at 10:30pm on a delayed basis for the interest in the lowlife of U6.

    • ukkatzfan
      9:05 pm August 25, 2018 Permalink

      Sorry bout the reply. Was meant as a comment.

  3. CKTermy23
    3:13 pm August 25, 2018 Permalink

    And we were one 2 point try of going to OT.

    • UKWildcatNation
      5:19 pm August 25, 2018 Permalink

      An extra point from going into OT…we went for 2 and the win, and came up short

  4. krautdog
    3:47 pm August 25, 2018 Permalink

    LOVE IT!?

  5. Cletis75
    8:08 pm August 25, 2018 Permalink

    I will let Cal work the schedule, not u nick!

  6. FakeMikePence
    10:46 pm August 25, 2018 Permalink

    As President THIS will be my #1 Priority! God Bless America!

  7. blueblue
    12:23 am August 26, 2018 Permalink

    I have a better idea. Why not play UK/UofL basketball game and football game on the same day? Late November. Maybe the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Football game in the afternoon and basketball game in the evening. It would make for an awesome weekend!!

    • UKWildcatNation
      12:42 am August 26, 2018 Permalink

      I have been a proponent of this for a long time. I heard from a source in the athletic department of that this was once being discussed, but they feared that fans would prioritize the basketball game thus hurting attendance at the football game. I am sure other factors played in as well to have them stay in the current format, and I’m sure they are just in their decision, but what I day that would be for a fan!

    • blueblue
      10:46 am August 26, 2018 Permalink

      Yes. I’ve also had this same thought in mind for many years now. It would be the greatest thing ever.

      I don’t think they should really have any concerns. I don’t think the basketball game would negatively affect the football game. And if they believe it could, they could always come up with a ticket package to encourage fans to buy tickets to both games. It would HELP the football game, especially if we are deep into the football season and had a disappointing record.

      Anyways, I’d love to see them just try it once and see what the affects could be. I think it would be awesome for both games and for both schools!! JMO

    • Greatcatfan
      4:55 am August 26, 2018 Permalink

      It was also discussed back when UifL was losing in both sports on a consistent bases, which didn’t help it’s chances any. Could you imagine the pissed off reaction Jurich would have got if Tard nation had to watch UK beat them twice in one day.

    • UKWildcatNation
      5:58 am August 26, 2018 Permalink


  8. mrpokerchips
    6:58 am August 26, 2018 Permalink

    Maybe it has something to do with kids being out of school and families being in town for the holidays. This makes local revenues go up from to let’s, tailgating, home party supplies, etc.

  9. J. Did
    8:17 am August 26, 2018 Permalink

    uavel…..u of smell……..belknap junior college.

  10. John Henry
    10:12 am August 26, 2018 Permalink

    Unfortunately for us this game does not have national appeal. It is only important to those living in the Bluegrass State and Jefferson County. So it doesn’t matter when it is played because national interest is not there. It is a game we have to play so play it and move on.

    • ukjaybrat
      7:37 am August 27, 2018 Permalink

      it has no national interest because it’s played in the middle of bowl season every year. people care about duke and north carolina? why? because it’s played in the height of baskletball popularity in february and march. you put uk/ul in a primetime slot when it doesn’t have to compete with post season football and it will matter more than it does now to people outside the bluegrass.