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John Calipari pushes back against Chris Mack’s concerns

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Things are heating up in regards to the basketball rivarly.

John Calipari Aaron Gershon - A Sea of Blue

Louisville Cardinals head coach Chris Mack made a little news this week when he went on a podcast and discussed the possibility of not playing the Dream Game this season as COVID continues to present issues in regards to playing college sports.

Mack was on a podcast with Big East college basketball announcer John Fanta and he expressed concerns about playing Kentucky at the Yum! Center without fans:

“I don’t know because, again, you’re dealing with a limited calendar,” Mack said. ”For instance, the University of Cincinnati, we were supposed to play our second game of the season against those guys at their place. Talking to John Brannen, how fair is it for us to play their home game in front of literally no fans and then have him return the game? And I think the same thing holds true for the Louisville-Kentucky game. Where is the equity of Kentucky coming here in front of no fans and then having to go back to Rupp Arena in front of 21,000 fans?

“But I recognize and we recognize, man, the best rivalry — I know I’m biased — in all of college basketball. If there was somehow we could do this at a neutral site, again, that’s without talking to Kentucky and what their scheduling holds.”

I understand Mack’s position, but there are college football teams around the country dealing with not having the home field advantage that they are normally used to.

It has been a few days since that quote and Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari has released a statement of his own:

“We are prepared to come to Louisville to play this season under the previously agreed upon terms, and we fully expect Louisville to honor the agreement with a return game to Rupp Arena next season.”

That comes via Jon Hale of the Courier-Journal.

Cal obviously wants to play the game because he knows he once again has the better team and beating Louisville is something he is very, very good at.

With the Governor’s Cup being postponed until next season, it will be interesting to watch this unfold. So far John Calipari and Chris Mack have played nice. The rivalry is nowhere near as intense as it was when Rick Pitino was the head coach. Could this be the first of many beefs between the two coaches?

One way or another they need to make the damn game happen.