It’s been 44 years, but this season, for the first time since 1968, Indiana and Kentucky will not meet during the regular season, Indiana confirmed in a statement.
The reason for the disagreement? Location.
Indiana athletic director Fred Glass would not sign a contract to continue the rivalry between the two schools because of an inability to come to terms as to whether the game should be played as a home-and-home or on a neutral floor.
Kentucky coach John Calipari reportedly wanted the game to be played on a neutral floor, while Indiana’s Tom Crean wanted it as a home-and-home.
“While we understand that such neutral site games could be quite lucrative, we think the series should be continued as it is, home and home,” Glass told the Indianapolis Star. “Playing on campus enables our students to attend these marquee games which we believe is a great component of the overall college experience.”
The two teams met in the 2011-12 regular season, where the Hoosiers pulled a thrilling upset of the eventual national champions. Christian Watford’s three-pointer at the buzzer sent the Wildcats home with what would prove to be one of only two losses the entire season.
Kentucky exacted revenge in the NCAA tournament, though, beating Indiana, 102-90, in the Sweet 16.
The Wildcats will lose Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Doron Lamb, Darius Miller, Terrence Jones, and Marquis Teague to the NBA draft, but will be reloading with talent from the Class of 2012, headed by No. 1 prospect Nerlens Noel.
Indiana has a talented group coming in as well, led by point guard Yogi Ferrell, who will be worked into the mix, in combination with the return of big man Cody Zeller.