Column: IU-Kentucky at what cost?

Talks have reportedly resumed about IU-Kentucky but at what cost would such a rivalry come? Would it mean the end of IU-Louisville discussions or would they consider playing both at the same time? I look at the possibilities in this analysis.

There was a story making the rounds this week that Indiana and Kentucky are in discussions about potentially renewing the men’s basketball series.

The annual Border War had been played since 1924 and the two teams had met 56 times. The last time they met in a regular scheduled series game was on Dec. 10, 2011 when Christian Watford hit the shot heard around the college basketball world in a 73-72 IU victory at Assembly Hall.

The last time the two teams met was in the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament that same season when Kentucky got revenge with a 102-90 win in Atlanta.

Talks are believed to be in the preliminary stages and both schools have confirmed that talks exist.

But here’s my question: At what cost would you want to see Indiana play Kentucky every season once again?

The reason I say that is that there have been reports that Indiana and Louisville are talking about an annual series, too.

If you could only pick one of those, which would it be? Many people would say Kentucky on history alone but IU-Louisville seems like a natural, too.

Why would you have to choose, some might ask? Technically you wouldn’t but I guess I would be surprised if Indiana agreed to playing a series against both of those teams at the same time. Because once you factor in facing either Notre Dame or Butler every year in the Crossroads Classic, playing in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge every season, and also playing in an exempt event like Indiana does most years (the Hoosiers are at Maui this season) all of a sudden you’re not leaving a lot of games left to be scheduled before you play an 18-game conference season.

The other thing that has still yet to be talked much about with IU-Kentucky is what kind of format is on the table?

Are we talking all neutral site games which is what Kentucky wanted the last time talks were going on, or are we talking a home-and-home and two neutral site games which is what IU had reportedly proposed?

If it worked out that every four years Kentucky would play in Bloomington at least once and the Hoosiers would play in Lexington at least once, I think that would be the best scenario for everyone.

I’m sure we’ll be talking about this one for a while but if they can pull it off, I do think an IU-Kentucky rivalry is good not just for those two programs but for college basketball in general.

I just wonder if doing it would come at the expense of a series such as IU-Louisville.


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