An IU-Louisville series getting closer?

Rick Pitino mentioned on his radio show Monday night that IU and Louisville are working on a three-year deal that would have one game in Indianapolis, one in Bloomington and one in Louisville. Tom Crean acknowledged the same Tuesday but said he wanted to let things take their proper course.

There’s still no talk about renewing Indiana and Kentucky anytime soon, but the noise is getting louder about the possibility of a Louisville-Indiana basketball series in the works.

Louisville coach Rick Pitino first mentioned the possibility in early December when IU and Louisville met in the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden. He said at the time that there were preliminary discussions.

Monday night on his radio show, Pitino elaborated about where the talks had progressed. He said the discussion centers around a three-game series with a game in Indianapolis, Bloomington and Louisville.

The game in Indianapolis would be along the same lines as the neutral site games were played between IU and Kentucky with the court divided right down the middle and seats sold equally to the two fan bases.

"We are negotiating to play Indiana next year in Lucas Oil Stadium, where we split 35,000 tickets each," Pitino said on his radio show. "If we can't get Lucas Oil on the date, we'll go to (Bankers Life Fieldhouse) and split 10,500 tickets or whatever. It'll be half going around behind our bench and half at mid-section, going around their bench."

The first game would be played in Indy, the second in Assembly Hall and the third in Louisville at the KFC Yum! Center.

IU coach Tom Crean was asked about it in his pre-Maryland press conference Tuesday afternoon and acknowledged that something is in the works.

“I respect Rick a lot,’’ Crean said. “I would say that if we get this series completed, a three year series that it is, a series of that magnitude really deserves the respect of an official announcement and it being a big deal, and it would be. But are we in the midst of that among other things that we’re doing? Absolutely.’’

Crean said that he wanted to let things take their proper course.

“We are in the mix of that. We have been,’’ Crean said. “But with a series of that magnitude, and the dates that we would potentially play and the way we would play it, a lot of things have to be worked out. So it’s premature for us to talk about it. And like I said, when the time comes it’s a big enough of a deal that it deserves the proper announcement.’’


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