Kentucky Coach John Calipari Says School Has ‘Agreed in Principle’ to Renew Basketball Series with Indiana
Less than one week after news broke that administration officials with both the University of Kentucky and Indiana University were in "advanced talks" to bring back the two teams' storied rivalry, Kentucky head coach, John Calipari announced Tuesday that talks had progressed to the point where the two sides have "agreed in principle" to renew the regular season series.
The last time the two teams faced each other during the regular season was in December 2011. It's a game neither program nor fanbase will ever forget. With the Hoosiers down by two, Christian Watford hoisted a three-point shot as time expired, finding the bottom of the net, and giving the unranked Hoosiers a 73-72 victory over then #1 ranked Kentucky. The buzzer-beating shot sent fans in attendance at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, and those watching around the state, into absolute pandemonium.
The Wildcats would get their revenge a few months later when they knocked the Hoosiers out of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament in the Sweet 16 by a score of 102-90. The Wildcats would go on to win the national championship that year by defeating Kansas 67-59.
The last meeting between the two teams took place during the Round of 32 during the 2016 NCAA Tournament. In that game, Indiana got the upper hand, knocking Kentucky out of that tournament by a score of 73-67. The Hoosiers would go on to lose their following game against North Carolina in the Sweet 16 by a score of 101-86.
"It’s at the Administrative Level Now"
Calipari was asked about where talks stood during his appearance at SEC Media Day on Tuesday. You can watch his response in the video below from the Kentucky Sports Radio YouTube channel.
Not the First Time Renewal Has Been Discussed
Discussions on continuing the long-time rivalry were held following the 2011-2012 season with Indiana proposing a four-year extension that would feature one game on each school's campus and two at neutral sites. However, Kentucky only wanted a two-year extension with both games at neutral sites, according to a report from the Indianapolis Star at the time.
What has changed since then has not been revealed publicly, but whatever the reason, fans of both teams, and college basketball in general, should be excited for its return.