Dribble Handoff: The best way to settle Kentucky vs. Louisville scheduling controversy for John Calipari and Chris Mack

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Give Kentucky and Louisville credit score, as a result of they’ve managed to make the catastrophe that’s nonconference basketball scheduling amid the COVID-19 pandemic entertaining. With Cardinals’ coach Chris Mack advocating for the sport to be performed at a impartial website this season and Wildcats’ coach John Calipari pushing again, a brand new rift has developed in an already nice school basketball rivalry.

In the end, it is in everybody’s greatest curiosity for the sport to be performed this season, regardless of the place. However the public feuding over the logistics has supplied wonderful fodder for school basketball followers and media starved for a diversion from the day by day stream of stories about which preseason match is the newest to be referred to as off or dramatically altered not directly.

It is also added a layer of intrigue to the following assembly between the groups. Calipari urged in a tweet that the sport is now scheduled for Dec. 26. However there is no such thing as a signed settlement for any date but, in line with a Louisville spokesperson. So for this week’s dribble handoff, our writers are approaching the state of affairs with their very own concepts for what ought to occur with this yr’s Kentucky-Louisville sport by responding to the next immediate:

In case you had been appointed Bluegrass State basketball czar and given full authority to dictate how Kentucky and Louisville proceed with their collection amid their latest spat, what would you do?

Play at a impartial website this season

It seems, at this level, that the back-and-forth is (most likely) over. Barring a change of plans, Kentucky and Louisville will probably play the day after Christmas contained in the Yum! Middle. As soon as Kentucky coach John Calipari declined to budge, and shifted the general public stress to Chris Mack, the Louisville coach did not actually have any nice choices. So he recorded an amazing video, obtained his photographs in, however was in the end compelled to play the sport when and the place Calipari needed.

Level, Coach Cal.

But when the query is how I might deal with it if left in cost and allowed to settle issues, the reality is that I might make Kentucky and Louisville play on a impartial court docket, in entrance of no followers, till the pandemic is behind us and capability crowds are once more allowed. That looks like a good decision. In different phrases, as a result of final season’s sport that was performed below regular circumstances was held at Rupp Area, the following Kentucky-Louisville sport to be performed below regular circumstances can be held on the Yum! Middle. Every little thing in between can be neutral-court video games. It is a plan that will guarantee aggressive stability within the annual rivalry, enable the annual rivalry to be performed yearly with out exception, and stop Louisville from lacking out on the sort of ticket income that Kentucky secured final season. Once more, it is probably the most truthful decision in these unprecedented occasions. In order that’s the way in which I might resolve it. However, clearly, I am not really in cost; Calipari, with the contract on his aspect, is. So the sport will probably be performed the day after Christmas in Louisville with no followers, equity be damned. — Gary Parrish

Itching for extra school hoops evaluation? Hear beneath and subscribe to the Eye on School Basketball podcast the place we take you past the hardwood with insider info and instantaneous reactions.

Double home-and-homes

First, one other spherical of applause for Chris Mack. Not simply because he upped the ante for the Kentucky-Louisville rivalry — and we’re all appreciative of that — however as a result of his video studying was primarily flawless. The timing, enjoying the digital camera, the tone, the setups, reveals and payoffs. Only a magnificent efficiency. And to suppose that is occurring between the Louisville coach and the Kentucky coach. We’re blessed. 

Now, what would I do if I had full say over this rivalry? Parrish’s suggestion is probably the most affordable. And simply doable. However, absent rationality taking up this dilemma, I might say this needs to be negotiated into the contracts to maintain the collection going, however permitting Louisville to get followers in its constructing first earlier than Kentucky. 

2020: Kentucky performs at Louisville with out followers within the stands, as is scheduled

2021: Kentucky AGAIN performs at Louisville below the circumstances followers ARE within the stands. After which:

2022: Kentucky hosts Louisville

2023: Kentucky hosts Louisville

2024 and past: collection as soon as once more alternates between websites yearly

In fact that modifications if followers aren’t allowed within the stands: In 2021, the collection would proceed with alternating websites every season. So in 2021 Kentucky would host with out fan attendance, after which in 2022 it might return to Louisville. 

To repeat: if followers are allowed in 2021, Louisville once more hosts UK. Then, for 2022 and 2023, Kentucky will get back-to-back years with residence video games towards the Wildcats. That is a reasonably whole lot, proper, Kentucky followers? This allows Louisville to be subsequent in line to have a real residence court docket benefit within the collection whereas equitably permitting for Kentucky to get the return on the again finish. In need of enjoying this on a impartial court docket, it looks like an inexpensive, and inventive, answer. — Matt Norlander

Play a best-of-five collection

There’s been sufficient hand-wringing over this collection to final a decade. Will they reschedule in 2020? Will the date be Dec. 26, as Coach Cal has indicated?

The actual answer I suggest because the czar of the bluegrass basketball scene comes within the type of a query: Why are we pondering so small?

Let’s lean into this beef and give you not only one single rescheduled sport, however rescheduled video games. Let’s go together with a full collection of video games over the span of two weeks to settle this as soon as and for all. Give the individuals what they need.

Kentucky and Louisville proudly tout this as one of the best rivalry in school hoops. Even non-bluegrassers principally agree. Organising a best-of-five collection can be a win for each applications to earn nationwide publicity on a number of events, and it would be a win for school hoops followers, too, who crave chaos. With John Calipari and Chris Mack on the heart of all of it, we would be assured no less than some. Maintain the video games at a impartial website and let’s get this on the books. — Kyle Boone

State match will settle the talk

This court docket orders that each applications put apart self-interests and host the first-ever Kentucky School Basketball Basic that includes the state’s eight Division I basketball applications. Although some related to these two applications might view this verdict as a punishment, it’s the court docket’s perception that this ruling will end result within the final betterment of basketball within the commonwealth.

Here is the way it will work:

Louisville will host a four-team match that includes itself, Murray State, Western Kentucky and Bellarmine, a first-year Division I member primarily based in Louisville. Kentucky will host a four-team match that includes itself, Morehead State, Northern Kentucky and Jap Kentucky.

The winners of every four-team match will then face one another in Louisville. Whether it is certainly Louisville and Kentucky enjoying one another within the championship sport, there will probably be greater than only a state championship at stake within the match finale. If the Wildcats win the sport, subsequent yr’s Kentucky-Louisville sport will happen at Kentucky. If Louisville wins the sport, then subsequent yr’s sport will happen at Louisville.

This proposal advantages everybody within the state. For one factor, it should assist all eight applications get nonconference video games, as there will probably be third-place video games performed in each four-team tournaments. Sure, Kentucky would probably find yourself enjoying a Quadrant 4 sport towards EKU or Morehead State, which could be trigger for dismay contemplating what occurred to the Wildcats towards lowly Evansville final season. However they might even be more likely to play Northern Kentucky in what would probably be a Quadrant 3 sport for the Wildcats.

Louisville would probably find yourself with two Quadrant 3 video games as each Murray State and Western Kentucky completed within the top-160 of the NET final season.

Holding it in-state reduces the variety of COVID-19 associated hurdles which can be derailing multi-team occasions in all places because the regional pod setup will decrease the variety of in a single day stays required for participation and guarantee uniformity in adherence to state protocols. The furthest any crew would probably need to journey for this occasion can be Murray State driving three and a half hours to Louisville. Everybody else will probably be inside 115 miles of their pod vacation spot.

Lastly, it might settle the Kentucky-Louisville dispute on the court docket in a significant method. If Louisville wins, it will get Chris Mack’s want of enjoying subsequent yr’s sport in entrance of a raucous residence crowd. If Kentucky wins, it will get John Calipari’s want for subsequent yr’s sport to happen at Kentucky as initially scheduled. And if neither crew wins the match, then they’ve each obtained a lot greater points to fret about — David Cobb



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