By LARRY VAUGHT
Kentucky fans would like to have Texas Tech coming to Rupp Arena to play UK Jan. 25 in the Big 12/SEC Challenge. Instead, the game w ill be in Lubbock, Texas.
Remember Texas Tech was a surprise Final Four team to many last year and just missed winning the national championship. that made me wonder what impact the Wildcats going to Lubbock might have on Tech fans, so I checked out a couple of different websites.
From what I read, Kentucky might face its most hostile environment of the year in that game.
Here’s part of what Joe Yeager of 247/Sports wrote:
“The Big 12/SEC Challenge committee has further affirmed what by now is blindingly obvious: the Texas Tech men’s basketball program has attained elite status. The committee, in making a logical yet still somehow surprising decision, elected to send the Kentucky Wildcats, arguably the premiere college basketball program in history, not to Phog Allen Fieldhouse to play Kansas, but instead to United Supermarkets Arena to play Texas Tech.
“Such are the benefits of elite status, and such are the dividends of being in the Big 12/SEC Challenge. Under ordinary circumstances there is no way the Wildcats would have ventured to Lubbock, and in all previous periods of Tech basketball history, the Red Raiders would not have had the swat to be awarded the plum matchup of the series.”
He also added this to close his article:
“This could be a battle between Kentucky’s size and Texas Tech’s athleticism. But regardless of how it shakes out, you can bet it will be a night to remember in Lubbock. And it could be the first of many spectacular non-conference games to be played in the USA. That’s what happens when you are elite.”
A night to remember? It will be a red-out or a T-shirt game or something. Just wait and see and Kentucky coach John Calipari will let us know plenty about it.
Next I went to wreckemred.com and found a story by Matthew Conner. Here’s part of what he wrote:
“In the world of college basketball, no name carries more weight than Kentucky. That’s why Texas Tech basketball fans were so amped to learn that the Wildcats will be coming to Lubbock in January.
“Though we are over 180 days away from this game, the hype for Red Raider fans is already building. This will be the most anticipated home game in program history and the U.S.A. will be electric.”
Yes it will but if Kentucky is as good as I think it’s going to be, it could be a perfect late January matchup to measure UK’s NCAA readiness on the road against a good team and hopefully pay off in March — even if UK fans would still rather have the game at Rupp Arena.