|After putting the series on hiatus this season, UK and UNC will play home-and-home in 2013 and 2014. (Getty Images)|
College basketball's regular season is not dying. It is not even low on iron content or threatened with the reality of being an afterthought. But it does have a lot of room for improvement, and the best way for the sport to improve is by having its best teams agree to schedule each other in on-campus games.
That's why Monday's news of Kentucky and North Carolina agreeing to rekindle their blue-colored blueblood rivalry is so great. Two of the best five programs in the sport will not only play each other once again, they'll do it at Rupp Arena and the Dean Dome.
As it always should be.
The series was put on hold this past season -- the same way Kentucky and Indiana's clash is currently on a Curb Your Enthusiasm-like hiatus -- because, well, who knows, really? Politics, ego, cop-outs regarding scheduling logistics. All too often they seem to get in the way of bettering the game's November and December slate, when it's these kind of games that should come first and foremost.
The onus for the sport's betterment sits squarely on the shoulders of college basketball's leviathans; Kentucky, North Carolina, Indiana, Duke, Syracuse, Kansas, UCLA, Michigan, Michigan State, Georgetown, Maryland, Arizona, Illinois, Ohio State, Louisville are all schools that should seek good competition outside of the ones afforded them in the cash-grab early season exempt tournaments in exotic locations that mostly are sparsely attended.
Some of the best programs seek a true home-and-home arrangement with good teams, but most of them don't do it enough.
At least this one is back on -- for two years. I'd prefer something longer, but for now, this will do. North Carolina gets the first home game next season, then Kentucky returns the hosting favor in 2014-15. UNC leads the series 22-13, but Kentucky has won three of the past four.
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