By LARRY VAUGHT
When Kentucky stopped playing Indiana annually after the 2011 game in Bloomington when the Hoosiers upset UK, stormed the court and created a chaotic/scary atmosphere for coach John Calipari and his Cats, I got to admit I was a little disappointed.
The Kentucky-Indiana series had some great moments and memories. The Big Four Classic that included Louisville and Notre Dame was one of my favorite events.
On Thursday during his time on the SEC Coaches Teleconference, Calipari made it pretty clear the series was not about to resume any time soon.
“Our schedule is so locked in, I’m not sure, here in the next four to five years, if even talking about it does anything,” Calipari said. “We’re hoping to do something in London next year, we’ve got this challenge that we put together, the [Champions Classic] and then the [CBS Sports Classic].
‘We have a game that we have to play with Louisville. We have our big challenge with the Big 12. Our stuff is pretty well loaded so I don’t see it happening any time in the near future.”
But guess what? I think he’s right. Why play Indiana? I can’t remember the last time a Kentucky fan mentioned something to me about the UK-Indiana series. Kentucky fans, I think, would prefer more marquee matchups rather than an annual game with the Hoosiers.
Calipari did suggest a neutral-site series with the Hoosiers before with games at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis but the Hoosiers said no thanks.
“Here’s what you’ve got to understand. When we first decided, I presented to Indiana that we would play two games in the big building in Indianapolis. Two games, we’ll play them both there. We’re not going to do this home-and-home but I’ll play both games there,” Calipari said.
“They turned that down, which then, at that point, okay, we’re moving on because I can’t present anything that’s any better.”
For any UK fan that saw Kentucky player Darius Miller almost get trampled in the postgame celebration in Bloomington, that logic seems sound. For UK fan Megan Dills who got knocked down and injured by fans rushing the court, it’s a no-brainer not to play in Bloomington.
“We have enough home-and-homes right now,” Calipari said.
Not sure he’s right about that but I do agree that a home-and-home with Indiana is not needed by UK.