The Kentucky Wildcats vs. Louisville Cardinals game isn’t likely to get primetime billing this basketball season.
The Wildcats will be facing off with their arch-rival on Dec. 29, the same day that the College Football Playoff kicks off (now that they wisely aren’t playing the CFP on New Year’s Eve anymore).
If the game is played in the afternoon, it likely won’t be much of an issue. An afternoon start time isn’t uncommon for this series.
But, if the game was played in primetime, the College Football Playoff would completely lose out on the Kentucky audience. Let’s be honest, Kentucky and Louisville fans aren’t going to have a dog in the fight for the playoff, and this state is a basketball state anyways.
Vice-versa, CBS (at least that’s who usually broadcasts this game) would lose out on the rest of the national market that it usually gets for the Kentucky vs. Louisville game if it broadcasted in primetime.
This year’s Kentucky game may not be as exciting as year’s past: Kentucky’s really, really good, and Louisville is in a transition period to say the least. But the state will still watch it over literally anything else.
Another issue that could arise on this day are a pair of bowls with SEC-ACC affiliation. The Belk Bowl and Peach Bowl are played on this day, so one or both of Kentucky and Louisville could play in a bowl game on this day.
That would be a rough ordeal for Kentucky, who just had to go through that this past year with the Music City Bowl kicking off right after Kentucky demolished Louisville in Rupp Arena.
Hopefully, fans don’t have to go through that again, though it won’t be as hard if it happens since Kentucky won’t have to pack Rupp Arena and a bowl game together.