[Moderated by Matt Jones]
With the UK-IU and UK-UNC series biting the dust recently, it has a lot of people wondering how to fill the void in the schedule. I don’t know the ins and outs of scheduling but I assume Mitch Barnhart, Coach Cal and his staff have some options. I personally would love for a home-and-home series with another one of college basketball’s blue bloods.
Imagine starting a new series with a school like Kansas. We just played them twice last year and what better way to start a rivalry than by beating someone in the NCAA title game? Bill Self and Coach Cal seem to get along fine and have a good relationship but after splitting the ’08 and ’12 championship games, it seems like the two hottest coaches in the game could fire up a little rivalry of their own. Two historic arenas like Rupp and Allen Fieldhouse just add to the tradition of what could become a truly great rivalry.
UCLA is another possibility I wouldn’t mind seeing. The two programs with the most NCAA championships would be rude not to start playing each other once a year. With the recruiting classes both schools are bringing in, I think now is the perfect time to begin playing the Bruins regularly. Fans at Rupp would get to cheer the flat-top and jeer Shabazz after he spurned us on national television. Cal also may have added a little fuel to the fire by saying he’s here to stay and he wants to “catch UCLA” while dispelling rumors of his departure for an NBA coaching job.
Another school I’m sure most UK fans would love to see us play every year is the hated Duke Blue Devils. I’m convinced that even after the last person to have been alive for the Laettner shot is dead and gone, the new generation of UK fans will still hate him and Duke just as much as everyone who was around for it. Cameron Indoor and Rupp Arena offer arguably the two biggest home-court advantages in college basketball. Maybe it’s just me but I love watching two programs with so much history and success play each other every year.
There are other routes UK could go as well. Do we try to schedule a neutral site series? Do we try to go after another big school like a Michigan State or a Syracuse? Do we just schedule cupcakes instead and try to use them as tune-up games before SEC play starts? It will be interesting to see how the schedule looks when it’s finalized later on this year. Let’s hear some suggestions, BBN.
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