Blog Entry

UK-IU draws 3.5 million viewers

Posted on: December 13, 2011 3:13 pm
Edited on: December 13, 2011 3:20 pm

By Gary Parrish

John Calipari spent part of last week publicly discussing the possibility of ending one of his high-profile home-and-home series -- either with Louisville, North Carolina or Indiana.

The Kentucky coach has his reasons, of course. One of them is that the SEC will move from 16 to 18 league games next year. Another is Calipari's strong desire to play more made-for-TV neutral-site games. So I get it. Honestly, I do. But I still hope all three series remain, and college basketball fans in general seem to agree because 3.5 million people watched Saturday's tilt between the Wildcats and Indiana.

That's a low number for "Jersey Shore."

But it's a massive pull for college basketball.

What Kentucky-Indiana provided was a game between two undefeated teams from two tradition-rich schools at an on-campus arena, and the importance of that last little detail can't be overstated. Take the same game -- and the same Christian Watford buzzer-beating 3-pointer that gave Indiana a victory over the top-ranked Wildcats -- and put it at Madison Square Garden, and it loses something. Because the location mattered. It provided the type of atmosphere that makes college basketball special, and it created the postgame celebration that most of us will remember forever. I like that. And it's only possible with a home-and-home series between power programs.

Truth be told, we don't have enough of those these days.

That's why it would stink to lose one of the really, really good ones.


Since: May 19, 2009
Posted on: December 14, 2011 4:45 pm

UK-IU draws 3.5 million viewers

I'm glad to see IU's rebuilding showing fruition. As a UK fan, I always enjoyed the rivalry. They have a great fan base and deserve to celebrate a victory like this. I'd hate to see IU, UNC or Louisville taken off the UK schedule. Hell, we even have Kansas in a home and home. These rivalry games are great for college basketball. Good luck to IU the rest of the season. I hope they can make some noise in the Big 10.

Now, if anyone sees Terrence Jones, tell him there was a game in Bloomington last Saturday. It would've been nice if he were there. I hope this gets him motivated for the rest of the season.

Since: Mar 9, 2011
Posted on: December 14, 2011 4:45 pm

UK-IU draws 3.5 million viewers

UK would be crazy to allow Calipari to destroy some of their best rivalry games by removing IU or UL.  They could live without the NC name, but not sure why they want to.  These games make both schools a lot of money between selling out the arena, filling bars locally, merchandise sales, national exposure for recruiting purposes, and not to mention the TV ratings, which make the networks pay more for the games to the schools.  Why would you allow someone who has publicly stated that they won't stay as your head coach for more than 10 yrs to make such a decision?  I'm not even sure as to the logic of stating that you aren't planning to stay longer than 10 yrs.  How does that help recruiting?  He seems to be a poor decision-maker off the court, obviously not on the court...

Since: Sep 5, 2009
Posted on: December 14, 2011 4:45 pm

UK-IU draws 3.5 million viewers

Congratulations to IU. I'm glad to see them back and I was one whom believed the rivalry was dead. IU fans, although I've never thought much of Bob Knight, have always been great sports and class acts. You guys need to be thanking God for your coach. He has brought you back from the failures of Knight, Davis and Sampson. You could tell it was a very well coached team; disciplined and positive effort. I definitely don't want to lose this rivalry, especially to pick up another game with the boring Mississippi or South Carolina.

Since: Sep 29, 2006
Posted on: December 14, 2011 2:39 pm

UK-IU draws 3.5 million viewers

UK wouldn't rush the floor after a win over Indiana either.

Since: Dec 5, 2011
Posted on: December 14, 2011 1:48 pm

UK-IU draws 3.5 million viewers

Do you think Indiana has that many more fans than North Carolina?  Either way, it was a good draw, and great win for IU.  Their best win since their Final 4 win in 2000, without question.  It is a compliment for UK to be a measuring stick.  I agree IU is definitely much better this year.  Funny to hear they are 'back' because the last shot fell.  I think they would have been just as 'back' if the last shot had not gone in, but that is just my opinion. 

Since: Dec 16, 2010
Posted on: December 14, 2011 1:29 pm

UK-IU draws 3.5 million viewers

let him (Cal) end it...

substitute UK for Purdue or Ohio State, throw in a buzzer beater,
and you get the same craziness from IU fans...

IU doesn't need UK for excitement. 

Since: Dec 9, 2009
Posted on: December 14, 2011 12:34 pm

UK-IU draws 3.5 million viewers

I agree..   I hate the regular season "neutral site" games.  The neutral site games may be a better indication on who has the better team, the atmospheres of the home courts can't be replaced.  Congrads to IU on the Win! 

Plenty of time for neutral site games in March!

Since: Jan 5, 2007
Posted on: December 14, 2011 3:02 am

UK-IU draws 3.5 million viewers

It was a great game in as loud an atmosphere as I've seen or heard.  The only 'quiet' segment I can remember was in the second half when UK was making its late rally, and even that just quieted things to a roar.  Sucks for me that UK lost, but I'm not the kind to spend time sulking.  Well, okay, maybe for a few hours.  It's easy to put into perspective.  IU wanted the win more, and needed a win like this to break through.  UK didn't leave empty handed either, though.  It showed considerable fortitude to me to play through possibly the worst game Kentucky could play and still have it come down to the wire.  Were there plenty of question marks?  Definitely.  But this is a game that will serve both teams well come March.  It is something for both teams to build on, win or lose.  That is why I like these marquis non-conference match ups so much.
See you next year, IU, and good luck the rest of the way.  I know this is still technically a work in progress, but if they play with that much heart the rest of the way, a run in the tournament is always possible.  Kentucky fans should know it well; last year was supposed to be a 'bridge year' for them after all, and only ended in a Final Four.

Since: Mar 16, 2007
Posted on: December 13, 2011 10:04 pm

UK-IU draws 3.5 million viewers

I'm a die-hard IU fan. The last few years have been pretty hard to deal with. All the rigamorol with Knight's firing, the "deal with the devil" business with Sampson, the "foot-in-the-mouth  stuff with Davis, and finally the hiring of Crean. It really does my heart good to hear from a UK fan. I heard a newscaster on a Kentucky TV channel saying that he had pronounced the IU-UK rvalry "dead". That was before the Big Game. Yeah, the last couple or three years weren't much to hope for (at least from IU fans). We knew that once the Purgatory time had been served that Crean would be the one to part the seas of medioctry for us. We knew he would, but I think he surprised even a lot of IU fans. All I was really hoping for was to play UK close, to give them a run for their money, damn if they
didn't beat UK! The Numbr 1 team in the nation! I mean.... ! Thank you for reasonable words of encoragement. I hope the rivalry has been resurrected. We can play with the big boys now!

Since: Feb 18, 2010
Posted on: December 13, 2011 4:24 pm

UK-IU draws 3.5 million viewers

Resurrection of traditional powers is always good. K. Sampson did a huge disservice to IU and a once proud fan-base.
Even though my guys lost - it is good to see IU on its way back. They will be back when they win a game in Rupp!!!

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