Interesting news coming out of Lexington this morning concerning future scheduling. Kentucky has reportedly been working on a home-home with UCLA, and this is coming at the expense of the continuity of the Kentucky-North Carolina series. There will be no UK-UNC game next season. Here’s Jerry Tipton’s Twitter report:
Cal: No UK-UNC game next season. UK will play UNC in Las Vegas in 2016-17, then UK-UNC series resumes home-and-home in 2017-18.— Jerry Tipton (@JerryTipton) November 28, 2014
I am happy to see this for two reasons: First, I think it’s great that UK and UCLA will be doing a home and home for a couple of years. They are the two winningest teams in the country in terms of NCAA Tournament championships, and it’s great to see them get together in a home-home setting for a couple of seasons.
I’m also very happy to see UK return to Las Vegas for a game. You all know how much Petra and I enjoy coming out here, and the last time UK played out here way back in 2008 at the Findlay Toyota Las Vegas Invitational, and it was an outstanding experience I have been dying to repeat. Knowing Coach Cal, the upcoming tilt with UNC won’t be held in the intimate confines of the arena at the New Orleans Hotel and Casino, but a bigger venue that holds a lot more people.
It doesn’t really matter to me where it is, I just can’t wait to hear the details. You can count on us being at that one, no doubt about it. It should be fun.
Also, concerning the series with the North Carolina Tar Heels, I think there is no problem with taking an occasional break, and I’m really pleased to see UNC working with us on this. Leaving aside all the academic scandal and smack-talk, UNC really is one of our few peers in college basketball and keeping the UK-UNC series around as long as possible, even with occasional breaks to accommodate one of the contestants, really pleases me. I have become very fond of this game for several reasons, not the least of which is that UNC is one of very few schools with a legitimate winning record against Kentucky, something I would like very much to see put right.
To me, this is unalloyed good news all the way around. I may even be tempted to take the trip out to Los Angeles to see the away game. I have never been to Los Angeles, and would love to see a game in Pauley Pavilion, one of the truly historic venues in college basketball.