Mike Woodson was asked earlier this week in a podcast about the potential for resuming Indiana’s series with Kentucky, and honestly, his answer sounded too generic to warrant an article.
“That can possibly happen in the future,” Woodson said on the podcast with Jon Rothstein. “I just think that (Kentucky coach John) Cal(ipari) and I and the ADs and the administration, we have to just come to some common ground and see what happens. I know that our fans would love to see it and I’m sure Kentucky fans would love to see it as well.”
That seemed like the latest way of saying nothing was happening anytime soon.
But today, a new round of noise emerged surrounding the series.
It started with a Twitter post by Matt Jones of Kentucky Sports radio.
My prediction today (with no inside info)
I bet we hear the Kentucky-Indiana series is back on
— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) October 4, 2022
Soon thereafter, well known radio personality and IU basketball player Dan Dakich seemed to confirm something was up.
— Dan Dakich (@dandakich) October 4, 2022
Since then we’ve talked to enough people to believe things are legitimately moving in the direction of a renewal of the series. The most likely approach? A neutral site rotation with split crowds, much like we saw in the 1990s and early 2000s.
Now, to be sure, rumors like this have popped up from time-to-time since the series ended in 2011. So if you’re skeptical, that’s understandable. But this time seems a bit different. And if it gets done, a willingness by Woodson and AD Scott Dolson to not play games on campus will likely be what made the difference.
Indiana vs. Kentucky is a series that dates back to 1924. The programs have met 57 times since then, including every year from 1969 through 2011. From 1992 to 2006 the teams played at neutral sites (Indianapolis and Louisville) with the crowd split roughly 50/50.
Indiana won the most recent regular season meeting in 2011 when Christian Watford’s buzzer beating shot stunned the No. 1 Wildcats in Bloomington and sent the home crowd into a frenzy. Since then the programs have only met in the postseason — a 2012 NCAA Tournament game won by Kentucky, and the last matchup, a 2016 NCAA Tournament game won by IU.
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