Indiana And Kentucky To End Annual Basketball Matchup – At Least For Now
Indiana and Kentucky have been going head to head since 1924 and in the regular season since 1969, but no more. Yesterday, IU said it would not renew the contract to play Kentucky because of a disagreement over where to play the games. The biggest problem stems from IU's desire to alternate home floors, while Kentucky wants to play at neutral sites in Louisville and Indianapolis like they did from 1991 - 2005.
IU Atletic Director Fred Glass said, "In the final anaysis, we want our student athletes, our overall student body and our season-ticket holders to enjoy this series at Assembly Hall.
Kentucky Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart said he was informed of IU's decision on Thursday and described the decision as a change from previous discussions with IU officials.
The current contract expired after the incredible December game at Assembly Hall that the Hoosiers won thanks to a last second 3-pointer by Christian Watford. Kentucky was able to get their revenge when the two storied programs met in the NCAA regional semifinals in Atlanta. Kentucky won 102-90 thus, springboarding the Wildcats to their title run.
The schools could probably generate more revenue in larger, neutral sites and Barnhart argues that neutral sites would take the series back to it's original roots, while Glass argues that playing at Assembley Hall and Rupp Arena makes for a much more exciting atmosphere for the fans and students.
Resolution is possible, but for now IU vs. Kentucky is done unless a miracle happens between now and this summer.