No IU-UK game this season

News came out today over Twitter feed that there will not be an IU-UK basketball game on this year’s schedule. With as much excitement and press this season’s game received, you would think it would be a no-brainer. According to the Indianapolis Star, it looks like location was a big part of the discussion.

Here’s what was posted on Indy Star today.

I’m not blaming Kentucky for insisting the rivalry be moved to neutral sites to increase revenue.

I’m not blaming Indiana for standing firm in its stance that the games stay in Assembly Hall and Rupp.

But one way or another, this was one of those issues where the two sides needed to lock themselves in a room until they figured out how to get it done.

IU-Kentucky is a rivalry that shouldn’t go away. No way. No how. It’s good for the schools. It’s good for the fan bases. It’s good for college basketball.

The excitement from an Indiana perspective that the regular season game last year brought with it is all the evidence you need. That single shot by Christian Watford was the signature image for all of college basketball from Dec. 10, 2011 through the NCAA Tournament. And the rematch was pretty good, too. There were a lot of people that believe that IU-Kentucky in the Sweet Sixteen was one of the more exciting games of the 2012 NCAA tournament.

And yet now it’s all going away simply because the two sides couldn’t reach an agreement on where it should be played.

Here’s my opinion: IU and Kentucky need to play next season. I don’t care if it’s on campus, in Louisville, or anywhere else, but the game needs to be played. Especially considering what happened last season. The 2012-13 IU-Kentucky was going to be the end all game to find out just how good the two teams were going to be a few weeks before heading into conference play. And both teams are expected to be very, very good.

Tom Crean indicated this week that he had spoken with John Calipari and that both coaches want the series to continue.

IU-Kentucky have played every season since 1969. How do you just throw all that away?

While the words in this press release are pretty clear that there won’t be an IU-Kentucky game next season, I still have to issue a challenge to athletic administrators from both schools to take a deep breath, take a step back, and then go back to the bargaining and get this done.

This is not the time for Indiana-Kentucky to become a thing of the past.

IU #1 Preseason – a little too soon??

It’s just one day after the championship game and the first preseason poll for 2012-2013 is out.  Andy Katz has Indiana as preseason #1.  Isn’t it a little soon?  While I think it speaks volumes to where Tom Crean has helped bring the program, it seems a little early to be making such predictions. It does assume several players are leaving for the NBA from other teams and that IU is staying intact.  It seems early, but it sounds good to Hoosier fans.

Here’s what Katz wrote about the Hoosiers.  You can see his Top 25 here.

1. Indiana

Surprised? Putting Indiana No. 1 isn’t a reach, and it speaks volumes about how far Tom Crean has brought the Hoosiers. There was legitimate grumbling in the Hoosier Nation a year ago, wondering whether the rebuilding was taking too long. Well, IU had two of the more significant wins of the 2011-12 regular season and then reached the Sweet 16, where it pushed Kentucky as well as any team. Cody Zeller has to stay put for Indiana to remain No. 1 of course. But if Zeller is back, the Hoosiers — with nearly everyone returning and joined by another elite recruiting class — will be right there in the running for a national title.

IU vs. UK Hoosiers Version

March Madness kicks off this week and, if everything holds true to form, IU and UK will meet again. UK is the overall #1 seed and holds the #1 seed in the South Region. IU is #4 in the same region so they could meet in the Sweet Sixteen.

People all over the country are filling out their brackets and making their picks. To provide some inspiration, here is a video of the final moments of the IU/UK game set to music from HOOSIERS!

IU featured in SI

Sports Illustrated has a story on Indiana basketball in this month’s edition.  For Hoosier fans, it is a somewhat painful look at what has taken place in the basketball program over the past decade, but also shows the resurgence the program is making.

It’s a somewhat lengthy article, but one that is worth reading if you are a college basketball fan or if you are an IU fan.  Check it out by clicking the link.

Indiana fans from Albany to Zionsville—and across the – 01.16.12 – SI Vault.

Hoosiers Enter the Top 20 in Both Polls

After the victory on Saturday, the Indiana men’s basketball team enters this week’s Associated Press poll ranked at No. 18 and the USA Today/Coaches poll ranked at No. 20. IU earned 462 votes in the AP poll and 171 points in the USA Today/Coaches poll.

Not sure how long it has been since IU has been in top 25, I really like Coach Crean’s comments when the rankings came out: “These players have certainly earned it,” said IU Coach Tom Crean. “We have to continue to stay locked in to our own goals and understand we still have an opportunity to get better. We have to continue to prepare with the same mindset and focus that we have shown thus far this season.”

IU Knocks Off #1 Kentucky

Indiana’s first big test of the season came today as Kentucky, ranked #1, came into Assembly Hall in Bloomington.  I was able to watch the first half at home, but had to get ESPN updates on my phone during 2nd half as Syd had a basketball game tonight (beat Washington Court House…more on that later).

Indiana hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to win the game.  Here is the oh so sweet video of the shot and the bedlam that took place after the game.