You knew it was just a matter of time. From the moment that John Calipari and his good friend Tom Crean butted brains and egos over the scheduling site of one of college basketball’s greatest border rivalries — fans? who cares about the fans? — you knew that Tom Jurich and Louisville would slide into Indiana’s sidecar.
Through an open records request, the Indianapolis Star reports that Indiana has a signed contract to play Louisville in the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden in New York, New York on Dec. 9, 2014. In Vitale-speak, that’s a PT matchup, baby.
Louisville’s Kenny Klein told my good buddy Rick Bozich that any reports of a finalized game are not entirely accurate. “To say that we have a deal to play that game is premature,” Klein said.
That just means the schools would like to announce the matchup on their own terms, or let ESPN announce it, or something to that effect. Sounds like the game is going to happen. And it should.
Readers of this blog know my stance on UK-IU. Both sides should put away their petty differences and get back on the basketball floor. I prefer the home-and-home arrangement but could live with a neutral site series just as long as the two states with the best tradition in the history of college basketball — where have I heard that line beofre? — get back on the basketball floor where they belong.
Ah, but U of L-Indiana is a tantalizing tandem, as well, if for no other reason than Crean and U of L coach Rick Pitino are not exactly the best of buddies, their rivalry dating back to the old Conference-USA days when Crean was the coach at Marquette.
Who can forget the time in 2004 that Crean accused Pitino of placing fabricated Marquette quotes in the U of L scouting report to fire up the Cardinals?
The drama only increased after the final buzzer, however, as the Golden Eagle staff found multiple copies of a Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel article in the Louisville locker room which had been doctored to include a quote from Tom Crean calling the Cardinals one of C-USA’s “lesser teams.” Crean called the motivational ploy “low and ridiculous,” while Pitino said it was a joke he had no prior knowledge of.
Of course, Crean is the same coach caught on camera demonstrating to his team how to fake taking a flagrant foul.