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Indiana-Kentucky series ends

Kentucky and Indiana have met on the basketball court for 43 consecutive seasons. That streak won't reach 44.

Indiana issued a press release Thursday afternoon saying the series will not be renewed for the 2012-13 season after the two programs could not agree on where it would be played in the future. Kentucky wanted the rivalry returned to a neutral site affair – as it was from 1992 to 2006 – while Indiana contended it should remain a home and home game. Neither school was willing to budge from its stance during recent negotiations.

The Hoosiers' statement left the door open for a rekindling of the series at some point in the future.

"While we understand that such neutral site games could be quite lucrative, we think the series should be continued as it is, home and home," Indiana Director of Athletics Frank Glass said. "Playing on campus enables our students to attend these marquee games which we believe is a great component of the overall college experience. Playing in the historic venues that are Assembly Hall and Rupp Arena is also a tremendous experience for our student-athletes.”

In response to Indiana's public declaration the series won't continue as is, Kentucky athletics director Mitch Barnhart said it was in Kentucky's best interests to move the game back toward the neutral site set-up.

“I think that we wanted to keep it at a neutral site,” Barnhart said. “There was not interest on their part to do something like that. I guess they're putting that (statement) out there as a final conversation, so we'll go on from there, do what we have to do.

“It's disappointing for that not to continue. It wasn't an unwillingness to play on our part. We wanted to play. We just felt like there were a couple of things that gave us a chance to play that game back in Jefferson County, put it in Louisville and then return it up to Indianapolis or whatever the other neutral site they wanted to. I guess they did not want to do that.”

The border rivalry was the longest continuing non-conference series on Kentucky's annual schedule, far out-distancing the Louisville and North Carolina showdowns. Kentucky held a 29-18 edge over those 43 seasons, with the four additional games coming in the NCAA Tournament. The Cats had gone 1-2 in Bloomington's Assembly Hall since the series returned to the home courts in 2007.

The suspension of the rivalry comes after a wildly entertaining pair of games between the two last season. The Hoosiers scored a 73-72 victory in Bloomington on Dec. 10 when Christian Watford's buzzer beating three-pointer found the bottom of the net. Kentucky got its revenge with a 102-90 victory in the Sweet 16 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. Both teams are expected to be Top 10 squads in 2012-13.

  • It seems that IU is the one that is ending the series because they dont want to give up their 20 point homecourt advantage at Blooomington. I am suprised that any decent team would play them there knowing that they would have to compete against eight men. The 5 IU players and the 3 refs.

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    Jeff Drummond

    Duke's overall schedule (obviously beefed up in that time span by ACC play) isn't the target of those barbs. It's about playing anyone with a pulse in a true, non-conference road game.

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    Jeff Drummond

    That's why UK moved to release statements putting it in IU's lap. They're the ones who ultimately chose to pull the plug, even if UK was going to demand neutral sites all along, so they should share in the blame. Both schools should be somewhat embarrassed IMO. Tradition in sports doesn't mean a whole helluva lot anymore.

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  • true Jeff. Everything has to do with the pocketbook now. Nevermind tradition. What do I get out of it??

  • For being a "blue blood" Indiana basketball has an inferiority complex. They are not even the flagship program of the Big Ten anymore. One decent year by them in the last 15+ does not mean they are back. No way Carolina or Kentucky would go through such a lengthy rebuild. IU does not even dominate in state recruiting anymore.

  • Whats done is done... NEXT!!!!

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  • I agree with what your saying but hey have had more that 1 good season in the 15+ years. Runners up in 02 and went 44-15 from 06-08 under K. Sampson.
    Just sayin

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  • I thought we didn't like those fat cats who never stand up and root for the CATS at Rupp Arena, lol. But I am tickled, I think we should ban iu from our schedule just because of boobie knight. And the media, let them hate, most all of them suck too. I now think its funny, especially when I think of the new display in Assembly Hall commemorating their last second shot against us, will be all they have to worship us by.

    This post was edited by UKlaw82 23 months ago

  • So many holes from a typical spartan stepchild through the history of the game...

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    "Strap on" is "No parts" spelled backwards...coincidence--- I think not!

  • That is the real travesty here. UK is already much maligned for being viewed as playing a weak schedule and dropping UNC/IU will only strengthen those voices.

    Dissapointed to see the series end, really enjoyed it. Hopefully we find a way to keep the UNC series.

  • That is the real travesty here. UK is already much maligned for being viewed as playing a weak schedule and dropping UNC/IU will only strengthen those voices.

    Dissapointed to see the series end, really enjoyed it. Hopefully we find a way to keep the UNC series.

  • Am I the only one here who is pissed about this? Seems like everyone is taking the approach of making fun of IU, but I'm really, really, REALLY pissed that we are now losing the IU and UNC games every year. I'm not pissed at Mitch or Cal, or the other schools even. I'm pissed at the situation. Like the national writers are saying, both of those series are huge for college basketball fans across the board and petty issues like whether the games will be played as home-and-home series (as they should be, in my opinion) or at neutral sites should not serve as a roadblock to end the games. Neither should a desire to make the schedules easier.

    The idea of our biggest OOC games being against UL and whoever we happen to play in some random ACC/Big East/Big 10/etc. challeges or whoever else we can get to play us at a neutral site in some monsterous dome stadium really bothers me, and I think it should bother every other UK fan as well. I don't want to see this watered down to the point where going to play some random mid-tier program (or whoever the flash-in-the-pan team happens to be at the time) in a large arena somewhere just so a couple of recruits can watch us live is more important than having huge traditional matchups like UNC and IU at Rupp Arena and at their respective home arenas. I like having a couple of neutral site games per year, like where we go to a historic site like Madison Square Garden to play someone like UConn or Kansas or Syracuse or whoever, or when we have the early season tournaments like the Maui Invitational, but I don't, I LOATHE...filling our OOC schedule with a bunch of cupcakes at home and then a handful of games against decent teams at neutral sites.

    I get that marketing and visibility to recruits is a big deal, but I don't like that it seems to be taking priority over finding a way to keep series against teams like UNC and IU.

  • I don't get the anguish personally but everyone's entitled to their thoughts. Jeff made the comment that we're gonna have a young team. Well, that's gonna be the case every year because of the high level of recruiting, so yeah it may be an effort to ease the transition each and every year. UK needed a higher profile team for their "away" home game in Lville, based on attendance and IN had an opportunity to be that and chose not to. Coach Calipari is going to play for March, period.

    SSP4L!! #GBB

  • Here is a different take on why the series ended. Think about why Crean wants to keep it on campus even though IU will play at UK. He knows that next year he is going to have a good team with Zeller, Watford, and Hulls coming back. However, in 2013 Crean does not know what kind of team in 2013 and having the game in Assembly Hall will act as a security blanket for him. All you have to do is look at his road record and his neutral site record and you will find that he cannot win unless its at home.

    Now looking at UK; Calipari has always said that he does not like a rigorous OOC schedule; IU will be a good team and playing them with UofL and the some of the other team will increase the toughness of our OOC schedule. Next, moving to a neutral site will give Calipari a chance to get his team to play in a tournament like setting. On campus does not give the team that kind of experience; also having another young team especially without a leader like Miller, will struggle a little more than his previous teams.

    I just think the main reason why the series ended is that not one team is afraid of the other but rather each team is a going in a different direction and each coach sees that. I do not like that the series is ending but I understand the argument on both sides. Being a rival team I can see why people are overly emotional and thus the mudslinging on the message boards.

  • I would prefer to keep the IU series over the UNC one personally. I am not upset over losing the series though especially if it meant doing a home and home. I think the neutral site game option was the best but as was pointed out earlier one would think that they could come up with a 4 game continuation where you do a rotation of both 2 home and 2 neutral games.

    Prof, The weakness of Duke's OOC schedule is laughable. They play nobody of any significance on the road but rather at neutral sites or against teams that are middle of the pack but have next to zero chance of losing. UK's OOC up to now had been to play 3-5 solid OOC games and an array of cupcakes so the balance evens out from a #'s percentage as you prefer but realistically, if you don't play anyone that is truly capable of beating you you can't say their schedule is more difficult OOC.

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  • First, I am not a fan of Duke, but here is last year's OOC schedule:

    Date Rk Opponent Result Location Record Conf
    Fri Nov 11 4 23 Belmont W, 77-76 76 Home 1-0
    Sat Nov 12 4 248 Presbyterian W, 96-55 69 Home 2-0
    Tue Nov 15 4 3 Michigan St. W, 74-69 74 Neutral 3-0
    Fri Nov 18 5 67 Davidson W, 82-69 73 Home 4-0
    Mon Nov 21 6 61 Tennessee W, 77-67 71 Neutral 5-0
    Tue Nov 22 6 29 Michigan W, 82-75 64 Neutral 6-0
    Wed Nov 23 7 4 Kansas W, 68-61 65 Neutral 7-0
    Tue Nov 29 6 2 Ohio St. L, 85-63 66 Away 7-1
    Wed Dec 7 7 96 Colorado St. W, 87-64 70 Home 8-1
    Sat Dec 10 8 54 Washington W, 86-80 80 Neutral 9-1
    Mon Dec 19 10 269 NC Greensboro W, 90-63 74 Home 10-1
    Fri Dec 30 10 181 Western Michigan W, 110-70 76 Home 11-1
    Sun Jan 1 8 137 Pennsylvania W, 85-55 68 Home 12-1
    Wed Jan 4 8 46 Temple L, 78-73 69 Away 12-2
    Sat Jan 28 14 152 St. John's W, 83-76 71 Home 18-3

    That is 8 home, 2 Away, and 5 Neutral. They played #2, #3, #4, #23, #29, and the weakest teams they played were #248 and #269.

    Here is UK's:

    Date Rk Opponent Result Location Record Conf
    Fri Nov 11 1 247 Marist W, 108-58 76 Home 1-0
    Tue Nov 15 1 4 Kansas W, 75-65 74 Neutral 2-0
    Sat Nov 19 1 127 Penn St. W, 85-47 66 Neutral 3-0
    Sun Nov 20 1 99 Old Dominion W, 62-52 67 Neutral 4-0
    Wed Nov 23 1 309 Radford W, 88-40 76 Home 5-0
    Sat Nov 26 1 278 Portland W, 87-63 70 Home 6-0
    Thu Dec 1 1 152 St. John's W, 81-59 79 Home 7-0
    Sat Dec 3 1 7 North Carolina W, 73-72 65 Home 8-0
    Sat Dec 10 2 11 Indiana L, 73-72 70 Away 8-1
    Sat Dec 17 2 258 Chattanooga W, 87-62 76 Home 9-1
    Tue Dec 20 2 271 Samford W, 82-50 60 Home 10-1
    Thu Dec 22 2 126 Loyola MD W, 87-63 65 Home 11-1
    Wed Dec 28 3 113 Lamar W, 86-64 75 Home 12-1
    Sat Dec 31 3 15 Louisville W, 69-62 79 Home 13-1
    Tue Jan 3 3 177 Arkansas Little Rock W, 73-51 63 Semi-Home 14-1

    They played 10 at home, 1 Away, and 4 Neutral. They played #4, #7, #11, #15, and the weakest teams on the schedule were #278 and #309.

    You can go back to other seasons and make the comparisons if you want. However, for last year, I fail to understand how you can argue that Duke played a weaker OOC schedule than UK. My view of the last 10 years, I summarized. I simply did not look at the final numbers are spit them out. I looked at their schedules in an attempt to understand what was behind those end of season SOS numbers. In my opinion, UK and Duke have played similar schedules in 8 of the 10 years [excluding the 2 Gillispie seasons] with Duke playing a tougher OOC schedule 4 of the 8 years, and UK playing a tougher OOC schedule in 4 of the 8 years.

    Again, just so some people don't misunderstand, all of the ratings I cite here, there, and everywhere are Pomeroy ratings, and have absolutely nothing to do with the wire service polls.

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  • I never suggested that you were a fan of duke so not sure why you felt the need to quantify your statement.

    I don't care what the polls state teams are ranked. I know I can look at the schedules and see which games are potential losses for any team and which ones are not. When I look at their schedule they don't schedule losable games unless it's a neutral site. The majority of those games that you see on their schedule that are losable aren't even scheduled by them but rather because they are part of a early season tournament or part of the B10 Challenge.

    Scheduling by UK has become watered down over the years and Tubby played a much harder OOC than we've seen since.

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  • Prof,

    #2 Ohio S.?
    #3 Michigan S.?
    #23 Belmont?


    Michigan st. played no one, their only big win were against conference foe. Looking at Pom ranking, Big Ten seems to benefit from its ranking system. (Having Ohio State #2, Michigan st #3, and etc.)

    Belmont at #23? Joking right? They beat no one, they won bunch of conference game against weak foes. #23... this is why looking at NUMBERS are only for support, not argument. They got blown away from memphis, are they even in top 25 team?

    You have to look past numbers sometimes. UNC is clearly the number 2 team. If they had Marshall, it would have been UK vs UNC in championship for guaranteed classic. I don't even think it's close that they are ranked #7..( i think that's crazy stupid). We played 1 game where we played well, and yet struggle to win. That was UNC. Jones came out, Gilchrist came out, Teague was solid, Lamb was solid, and Davis was okay.

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  • Rumor is... the negotiations are not over. There is still a chance IU will be on our schedule.

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  • ^^^^^^^^^^^^ this^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ I have to think that this is the real reason because Cal has mentioned many times that he hates to play against a good friend. UK has never played like they were ready for IU in any game Cal coached against them until they played in Atlanta in the sweet 16. I think that Cal really wants Crean to succeed so badly that he would rather drop the series than to pin an L on his friend. I think they created the sticking point and are going to run with it.

  • I think this sucks. But what are you gonna do?

  • ....after what happened last year? Why, because you got beat? Please do not say that it is the tired old diatribe of "our fans were abused" etc. etc. I was sitting in the 8th row on the floor and I can see all the way up into the main level, and I saw NOTHING of any UK fans being abused. Face it: that was just some people who were not even there, trying to stir up IU fans because they were so upset that UK lost.

    I love how UK fans just took this story and ran with it. Kind of like "Rupp's not a racist", Emery Air Freight was a plant by a UCLA fan, Eric Bledsoe is a math genius, etc. There is no fanbase in the country capable of revising history as well as UK fans have for the past 70 years.

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    Jeff Drummond

    Duke's rep has been earned over time. They have unapologetically gone with Cal's new strat for years.

    You can't really pick out last year and draw a conclusion. UNC and UofL were rotating as home games for the Cats, and the only reason Duke played at Ohio State was part of the TV-mandated Big Ten-ACC Challenge. They wouldn't play that game under any circumstances if it wasn't.

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    Jeff Drummond

    A lot of people have brought up the benefit of playing in domes/neutral settings for the NCAA Tournament, but has anyone thought of the benefit of playing in places as hostile as Bloomington was in terms of winning games like Vandy, Florida and Mississippi State on the road in the SEC, which ultimately allowed UK to get the No. 1 overall seed and best positioning for a national title run?

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  • This. If playing on neutral courts helps for the NCAA tourney than playing on the road double helps.

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