Following last week’s announcement of Kentucky’s upcoming series against Gonzaga, Dick Vitale asked John Calipari to discuss the renewal of one of college basketball’s most storied rivalries.
The iconic ESPN broadcaster rekindled talk of a different marquee non-conference clash between England and fellow blue blood program India. He called the two sides to renew the fierce rivalry that lasted from 1969 to 2011. After praising the Wildcats–Bulldogs game, Vitale urged Calipari to sit down with Hoosiers coach Mike Woodson to discuss the prospect of drafting the upcoming series.
Vitale tweeted, “This is a quality pre-conf matchup btw @KentuckyMBB & @ZagMBB. Now NO BRAINER @UKCoachCalipari has to get together with @MikeWoodsonNBA & they MUST agree that @IndianaMBB & KENTUCKY will play!”
Like many fans in the decade since Kentucky and Indiana agreed to end the rivalry in the dispute of place, the legendary Vitale is still clamoring for the SEC powerhouse to add the formidable Big Ten stalwart back to its schedule.
For what it’s worth, his sentiment seems to be shared by the central figure in this complicated equation in Woodson, who said in May that he also wants to see the Wildcats and Hoosiers meet again in the future.
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“I’m not going to let it die,” said Woodson, a former Indiana star with more than 40 years of NBA experience as a player and coach. “I’ll stay on [Calipari’s] back about getting the Kentucky-Indiana series on the table because I’ve just thought over the years, man, it’s a great game, go to Lexington and they go to Bloomington. .”
Both teams bolstered their rosters heading into the 2022-23 season and will look to be primetime players in March Madness. Sports Illustrated’s Kevin Sweeney ranked Calipari’s Wildcats fourth and Woodson’s Hoosiers 22nd in his June Top 25 Reset.
While it’s unclear when and if the blue bloods will renew their rivalry, the following potential deal would mark the first time the teams have met in the regular season since the ’11-’12 campaign. The Hoosiers picked up a 73-72 victory at Assembly Hall in an undefeated battle in December.
Indiana and Kentucky have met twice in the NCAA tournament since then, with the Wildcats earning a win in the Sweet Sixteen in ’12 and the Hoosiers returning the favor in the Round of 32 in ’16. Kentucky leads the all-time series 32-25.
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