If you thought the saga of the “Lost Rivalry” ended last month when Kentucky officially declined Indiana’s invitation to play games on campus, you were wrong.
According to Dustin Dopirak of the Bloomington Herald Times, who obtained letters sent between Indiana athletic director Fred Glass and Kentucky athletic director Mitch Barnhart, Indiana reopened negotiations with Kentucky on May 10th.
Two games in Lucas Oil Stadium, followed by a game at Rupp and THEN a game at Assembly Hall. In 2015-2016:
In the letter, Glass detailed all of the negotiations in the attempt to revive the series since it was publicly declared dead on May 3. Glass said that Indiana had indicated that it would be willing to play at Lucas Oil Stadium in December of 2012 and 2013, “persistent with Coach (John) Calipari’s previous offer to do so.” The series would then be moved to Rupp Arena for the 2014 game and Assembly Hall for the 2015 game. Glass said that was acceptable to Indiana because it would allow the freshman class that arrives next year to see at least one game on campus in their four-year careers.
My first reaction to the news: why are they trying to work this out by sending letters? Is it 1954 again?
My second reaction: this surprises you? UK wasn’t playing this series unless it was going to be held at Lucas Oil Stadium annually. And since Coach Cal knew that Indiana wasn’t going to agree to that, it’s not difficult to deduce that he simply had no interest in continuing the rivalry. He’s the head coach at Kentucky. It is his job to run that program as he sees fit, and as I’ve written about 10,000 times by now, there is actual, legitimate justification to his thought process.
It sucks, don’t get me wrong.
If I had my druthers, this game would get played on campus every single season because we all saw just how awesome the game was last season. With Kentucky and Indiana looking like the nation’s two best teams, it can only get more awesome. I’m a college basketball fan first and foremost, and as a fan, it sucks that we won’t be able to see this game.
Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.
National Semifinals– Saturday, April 1
6:09 p.m. EST, CBS, Glendale
No. 7 South Carolina vs. No. 1 Gonzaga (Jim Nantz, Grant Hill, Bill Raftery, Tracy Wolfson)
Approximately 40 minutes after conclusion of first game, CBS, Glendale
No. 1 North Carolina vs. No. 3 Oregon (Jim Nantz, Grant Hill, Bill Raftery, Tracy Wolfson)
North Carolina and Kentucky ended in legendary fashion on Sunday.
After freshman Malik Monk buried a heavily-contested three-pointer to tie the game at 73-all for Kentucky with under 10 seconds left the Tar Heels didn’t use a timeout as Theo Pinson found forward Luke Maye for the game-winning jumper.
These 10 seconds will go down as one of the greatest finishes in NCAA Tournament history.
North Carolina advanced to the Final Four for the second consecutive season and 20th time overall as the No. 1 seed Tar Heels outlasted No. 2 seed Kentucky, 75-73, during Sunday’s South Regional final in Memphis.
Reserve forward Luke Maye knocked in the game-winning jumper for the Tar Heels with 0.3 seconds left to break a 73-all tie after Kentucky’s Malik Monk tied the game with a three-pointer on the previous possession.
The Tar Heels (31-7) overcame an ankle issue from junior point guard Joel Berry as North Carolina was led by Justin Jackson’s 19 points.
Maye also stepped up with a big game for North Carolina as he continued his strong March with 17 points. Berry added 11 points, as he went to the locker room during the first half to get his ankle looked at before returning to play later in the half.
Kentucky (32-6) won the regular-season matchup of these teams, 103-100, in Las Vegas in December as their freshmen guards struggled to perform on Sunday. After De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk combined for 71 points in that previous win over the Tar Heels, the two freshmen studs couldn’t get going.
Both of them dealt with first-half foul trouble as Fox finished with 13 points while Monk was held to 12 points. Also battling foul trouble in the first half, freshman Bam Adebayo added 13 points for the Wildcats.
With Fox and Monk struggling to generate consistent offense, the Wildcats were able to stay in the game thanks to great performances from reserves like Isaac Humphries (career-high 12 points) and senior Dominique Hawkins (10 points.
North Carolina advances to face No. 3 seed Oregon in next weekend’s Final Four.
South Carolina earned its first trip to the Final Four with its win over SEC-rival Florida on Sunday.
The Gamecocks made sure to celebrate properly when head coach Frank Martin hit the locker room after the game by dousing him in water before Martin gave another speech.
Darius Rucker, the former front man of Hootie and the Blowfish and a current star in the country music world, is a lifelong South Carolina Gamecocks fan.
This isn’t really a secret.
Hell, on Friday night at a concert he was playing, Rucker set up TVs so that he would be able to watch South Carolina take on Baylor:
You probably didn’t realize just how big of a fan he actually is until you saw him, sitting second row at the regional final in New York City on Sunday afternoon, tearing up as the Gamecocks advanced to the Final Four:
Let ’em cry, Darius, if the tears fall down like rain.