Pharos-Tribune

Columns

May 6, 2012

Let’s not mess up rivalry

Ending the Indiana-Kentucky basketball rivalry in a dispute over where to play the games would be stupid.

Come on.

These two teams have proven through years of contests that the rivalry is a great one regardless of where the games are played.

The Wildcats owed the Hoosiers one for that shot last year that resulted in their only loss of the regular season. They got their revenge with a 12-point victory in the NCAA tournament.

Both teams are highly touted going into next season, and the Hoosiers would like nothing better than to score another win.

I understand the argument that the atmosphere is better if the games are played on each team’s home court. That might be true.

Kentucky, though, apparently favors the revenue it can generate by moving the games to a neutral site where it can sell more tickets.

That’s another factor worth considering.

Still, there has to be a way to find middle ground.

Maybe the schools could develop a four-year rotation where each team would get a home game, and two games would be played on a neutral court.

Admittedly, there are bigger issues in the world today. If Indiana and Kentucky never again meet on the basketball floor, the world will keep on spinning, and college basketball will continue much as it always has.

Nevertheless, it’s irritating to think a great rivalry could come to a screeching halt over a petty disagreement.

The two schools have been competing on the basketball floor for a long time. They played 10 times before 1969, and they’ve played every year since.

In the early years, the games were played on neutral courts before moving back to the respective campuses in 1976. They remained on campus through 1986 and then rotated between Louisville’s Freedom Hall and the RCA Dome in the 1990s and early 2000s.

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