Could Kansas replace Kentucky on Indiana’s schedule?

With an expired contract and both sides with different ideas on where the series should be played, the possibility of the Indiana-Kentucky series being placed on hiatus next winter seems real.

Indiana Athletic Director Fred Glass told Inside the Hall’s Justin Albers last week that he would prefer the series to remain at Assembly Hall and Rupp Arena, but Kentucky is pushing for a return to neutral sites.

Before returning to a home-and-home format in 2007, the annual clash between the Hoosiers and Wildcats had been played at Freedom Hall in Louisville and the RCA Dome in Indianapolis.

“I strongly prefer to keep the games on the respective campuses,” Glass told Inside the Hall on April 5. “We owe it to our student bodies to try to do that.”

If the situation can’t be resolved, it appears the Hoosiers may have found a suitable replacement: Kansas.

Word trickled out over the weekend in this Courier-Journal column about the possibility of a series with the Jayhawks and Tom Crean acknolwedged it as a real possibility to ESPN.com:

“We’ll have to wait and see,” Crean said. “We’re not overscheduling. We’re not playing Kentucky if we’re playing Kansas.”

Kansas and Indiana have talked about starting a series next season. “There is interest on both sides, and the networks want to do it,” Crean said.

Crean said he isn’t sure if the Kentucky game would survive as a series, whether it’s at a neutral site, next season or at all.

If Kentucky won’t commit to playing the game at Assembly Hall and Rupp Arena, Crean and Glass will have a decision to make. And there are several factors to consider.

Is Indiana better off playing Kentucky at a neutral site than not at all? The rivalry is back thanks to a couple of great games this past season, but part of what made the first game great was the atmosphere in Assembly Hall. Much of that would be lost in a neutral site game.

Does Indiana need another game in Indianapolis? The Hoosiers played a regular season game last year against Notre Dame in Conseco Fieldhouse and they’ll do so again next winter (Butler). With the importance of non-conference home games as a revenue source for the athletic department, this will be a consideration.

 If IU agrees to a neutral site series, where would the games be played? Louisville has not allowed Kentucky to play in the Yum! Center and an IU-Kentucky game is unlikely to be an exception to that rule, especially when the Cardinals have expressed interest in a series with IU. So that leaves Freedom Hall, which is outdated and lacks the amenities that can be provided in Bankers Life Fieldhouse or Lucas Oil Stadium.

Is Kansas an adequate replacement? No question. The atmosphere at Phog Allen Fieldhouse is among the best in the country and the Jayhawks are an all-time top ten, maybe top five, program. Kansas isn’t Kentucky, but if IU is looking for a home-and-home, this series would be near the top of the wish list.

Neither side has placed a timeline on a resolution, but Glass did tell Inside the Hall last week that he hopes to have things worked out “soon.”

  • plane1972

    Don’t go putting Coach K on that pedestal, Kokomo. Kyrie Irving, Austin Rivers and the hot pursuit of Shabazz Muhammed have Coach K right in the thick of things for one-and-done talent.

  • millzy32

    If we can keep the Kentucky rivalry which I feel is way more important and we can also get Kansas scheduled I am all for it.  Why not have the Kansas game in a neutral site ever year.  AKA St. Louis.  St. Louis would be a great location for a game like this.  Then the people of Missouri could have a  chance to see some real basketball for a change.

  • Geoff_85

    You’re right, he’s not, but it would take a whole hell of a lot to convince me that he cares whether those kids even attend classes. I’m sure he has someone who keeps tabs on that, but that’s probably strictly so that he doesn’t get in trouble. Most of my above post was just jabs back at a troll who was trolling on ITH. Just playing a trash-talking defense lol.

  • Bdfuson

    Any way we can restart the IU/Louisville series instead? Pitino said he wants to and both teams will be national title contenders for the next few years.

  • IUMIKE1

    Tell it like it is brother.

    Had to make this comment since it won’t let me click the “like” button more than once.

  • IUMIKE1

    Isn’t you telling people to go to another site just you stating how you feel, you know kinda what they are doing ?

  • catronhoosier

    Yea i really like the idea of adding a Cincy or someone like that to our schedule.  My proposal was just me dreaming because i really dislike a bunch of northsoutheastern state poly tech games.  but getting to play a team like Cincy would be huge, Im all about the tourney and playing teams like that is huge for tourney prep

  • catronhoosier

    Yea i really like the idea of adding a Cincy or someone like that to our schedule.  My proposal was just me dreaming because i really dislike a bunch of northsoutheastern state poly tech games.  but getting to play a team like Cincy would be huge, Im all about the tourney and playing teams like that is huge for tourney prep

  • DarkSouth

    Duke played on the road in the Challenge last year, they’ll get a home game this year.  Probably going to be UNC, who played a home game versus Wisconsin.

  • DarkSouth

    I wouldn’t put UConn up there.  All their success has been since Calhoun came to town, didn’t win anything until the 90′s…Michigan State and North Carolina State are far more historic programs even with one less title. 

    IU, UK, UCLA, UNC, Duke, and Kansas are historic powers for a reason: their success has spanned numerous coaches over decades.

  • DarkSouth

    How often do you lose a HOF coach in his prime like Roy Williams and get a better one as a replacement?  Smooth move, KU, very smooth…

  • HoosierPat

    Last time I checked, you were not a moderator for Inside the Hall.  If you don’t like my comments, you do not have to read them.  I was simply stating my mind, which is the point of commenting.  Do not tell me to go to a different site because I have a strong dislike for Calipari.

  • Dmamel

    I would love to see a contract with New Mexico. Our native son Steve Alford will always be welcomed back to Bloomington and he is putting the Lobos on the map. The Pit is a great place to play, unlike any other arena, and it would be a fantastic road experience for our Hoosiers. I asked a great friend who is a native Hoosier now living in Albuquerque and a New Mexico season ticket holder what it would be like if IU came to The Pit. He said that would be “awesome”. It would also give me an excuse to play more golf at one of the great New Mexico courses. LOL. Especially while we still have Cody I know the Lobo fans would love it.

  • Banks Darrin1

    i think that the rivalry with uk is somthing you want to have no matter win or lose it makes you a better team. myself i think that the uk iu rivalry is more intense than purdue… i know what your gonna say….purdue hasnt been the caliber of team as uk ,but the crowd is always in it big time! i think they should keep the tradition and play…at uk and assembly hall…i think it would be the best decision for both sides. let the students enjoy this great rivalry!

  • FreeAgentSignee

    Keep the Hoosiers-Wildcats rivalry!

  • Ryanlove1140

    I would love to see a Indiana / Kentucky championship series with Indiana, Purdue, Kentucky, and Louisville on nuetral sites. It would be exciting and they could sell out over an entire weekend. Buisnesses of the nuetral sites would benefit greatly!

  • Ryanlove1140

    I would love to see a Indiana / Kentucky championship series with Indiana, Purdue, Kentucky, and Louisville on nuetral sites. It would be exciting and they could sell out over an entire weekend. Buisnesses of the nuetral sites would benefit greatly!

  • walton

     that’s more the direction I was going in

  • jaywiz

    indeed. But with IU’s rise, it will do wonders for recruiting and exposure in B12 country. Need to spread the movement nationally!

  • jaywiz

    not anyone from the SEC.

  • jaywiz

    not anyone from the SEC.

  • hoosiergirl

    I agree, how convenient.  Calipari doesn’t want to risk IU comming into Rupp this fall and ending his winning streak.  Coward.  His program is devoid of any kind of honor or integrity. 

  • BgTie

    Kentucky wants a neutral site…where do they think they can host their game? It will have to be outside the state of KY. Nashville? Freedom Hall is a dump now. That coming from someone that lives in Louisville. The Hyper is in better shape.

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