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Kentucky coach John Calipari: ‘We’re not coming to Indiana’

State Farm Champions Classic

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 15: Head coach John Calipari of the Kentucky Wildcats reacts against the Michigan State Spartans in the second half during the State Farm Champions Classic at Madison Square Garden on November 15, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by xc)

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The renewal of the Kentucky-Indiana series probably isn’t going to happen anytime soon, and it’s not because the two sides don’t want to play each other.

It’s because they want to play each other in different settings. Indiana wants to play in Rupp Arena and Assembly Hall like they did from 2007-2012. Kentucky wants to play on neutral courts like they did for the 15 years before that.

That probably isn’t going to change as long as John Calipari and Tom Crean are running those two programs regardless of how badly we want it to change.

I bring this up because Coach Cal went on the Rich Eisen Show and, basically, said exactly that.

“We’re not coming to Indiana,” Calipari said. “Home and home is not happening.”

“We talked about playing two years in Indianapolis and they said no. So, those, right now, these schedules are out ahead a couple years. It may be in the future. There may be something in the future.”

Cal was responding to something that Crean said after last Friday’s win over Kansas, when he not only mentioned that he would like to get a series going with the Jayhawks but that he would love to reignite the rivalry between UK and IU.

IU beat writer Zach Osterman said it best:

He was also quick to say his friendship with Tom Crean, which dates back beyond either coach’s current job, remains strong, and that they “talk all the time.” Just this fall, one of Calipari’s assistants, John Robic, appeared in a photo taken at Cook Hall with Crean, former Drexel coach Bruiser Flint and Hall-of-Famer Larry Bown. And IU assistant Chuck Martin, who coached under Calipari at Memphis, said when he accepted his current position that Calipari had encouraged him to.

The point is, it’s not a respect thing. And it’s not a recruiting thing. Kentucky has taken players out of Indiana before. IU has beaten Kentucky to players before. Playing in Indianapolis would not dramatically shift the recruiting landscape for either program.

It’s philosophical. Period.

And the only way that we’ll end up seeing these two teams square off in the future is in the NCAA tournament.