Tuesday Evening Cardinal News And Notes


Jaiden Fradiska, whose family is comprised largely of West Virginia fans, celebrating the win in Morgantown last November.

The Andrew Johnson attitude is a terrific touch.

The big story around these parts continues to be the end of the Kentucky/Indiana basketball series and what caused it.

In the wake of the controversy, John Calipari has written a post explaining that Kentucky is now a non-traditional program and that it demands a non-traditional schedule.

Big Blue Nation, it's time we learn and come to grips with the fact that we are not a traditional program. We haven't been one for the last three years, and going forward, this will continue to be a nontraditional program.

The 25-year-old model doesn't work anymore. It is done and blown up. We are going by our own model now: the gold standard. Everyone has to accept that.

We are going through things that no other program in the history of college basketball has gone through. No other program is losing five or six players a year. We are facing issues and having to make decisions with the thought of what's next and where are we going, which includes our schedule.

When we schedule, there are three factors my staff and our administration must take into consideration: (1) preparing our players for the postseason, (2) our fans and (3) the financial component.

There you go, Kentucky basketball is no longer about history and tradition. I never want to hear about the '40s, '50s or any long-term win totals or records ever again.

John Clay is not buying what Calipari is selling.

Andy Katz looks at the new potential of a Louisville/Indiana series getting done now that the IU/UK series is defunct.

1. Louisville coach Rick Pitino said he wants to play Indiana next season. Hoosiers coach Tom Crean confirmed that the two sides are discussing the idea of a home-and-home series. "This is something we have to consider,'' Crean said. IU is playing Butler in Indianapolis and could play UCLA or Georgetown in the Legends Classic in Brooklyn. IU could also draw North Carolina in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge in the most likely scenario. Louisville is in the Battle 4 Atlantis with a field that has all NCAA projected or bubble teams in Duke, Memphis, Stanford, Missouri, Minnesota, VCU and Northern Iowa. The Cards host Kentucky and will play a road SEC-Big East Challenge game. IU and Kentucky couldn't agree on a series for next season, leaving the Hoosiers open to another high-profile game. "The polls have us 1 and 2,'' Pitino said. "It would be good for us to have a game a 1-[hour], 45-[minute] bus ride away. It would be good for college basketball.''

The possibility of that renewed series has ESPN's Eamonn Brennan excited.

Any time Pitino and Calipari are mentioned in the same 800 words, there's a tendency to assume everything either is saying is intended to tweak the opposite number. And that may indeed be the case here; from a public relations standpoint, Pitino knows exactly what he's doing.

But guess what? I don't care! Because Pitino is right: Indiana-Louisville would be good for college basketball. It doesn't carry the same longstanding rivalry cachet as Indiana-Kentucky, and fans surely wouldn't be quite as rabid for this game as IU-UK, but that dream is dead. In its place is an opportunity for both teams to add a marquee, top-5 matchup, for fans to get to see two of the nation's best teams play early in the college hoops calendar. In a sport that has increasingly been marginalized by an awkward TV schedule and an apathetic approach to much of the regular season, that is a good thing.

It is also the long view. Crean and Calipari may not need the IU-UK game in any obvious tangible way, but discontinuing it in such fashion paints a picture of two programs who have lost the forest for the trees. The long-term approach would be to build a mutual level of interest and national awareness by keeping the rivalry as healthy as possible. That national interest wouldn't just help the sport, it would increase the Q ratings for both programs. Hey, why should UNC-Duke get to have all the "Oh, that game's on? We need to watch that!" casual fan fun?

Maybe that rivalry is now Indiana-Louisville. The two programs share a natural geographic rivalry, even if the historic skirmishes have never been as epic as either team, particularly Louisville, has shared with the Wildcats. Oh well. In the short term, Indiana-Louisville would give us one more great basketball game in 2012-13, and maybe the year after. In the long term, a healthy Hoosiers-Cardinals rivalry could come to be a defining tentpole in the early season nonconference schedule.

Top ten recruit Anthony Bennett cut Kentucky from his final list of three, and several members of Big Blue Nation responded on Twitter in the manner that we've seen multiple times now.


1) Every fan base does this

2) That's only like .0001% of Big Blue Nation

3) Those are actually Louisville or Indiana fans

They could win the next 17 national championships and there's no part of me that would wish I was on the other side.

Five rising seniors - including Louisville commits Ryan White and Kyle Bolin and recruits James Quick and Jason Hatcher - in the state of Kentucky have been nominated for the 2013 U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Apollo's Hunter Bivin, a Notre Dame commit, was the fifth.

Insanely important baseball GIF.

According to Adam Zagoria, Louisville is now among those recruiting 2013 shooting guard Davon Reed of Princeton, NJ.

Amobi Okoye showing some love.


Crazy to think that he's only 15-years-old.

Lost Lettermen lays out the top five candidates to take over as Big East commissioner. Sadly and surprisingly, Russ Smith is not included.

Sam McLaurin's now infamous tweet has already inspired an appropriately wonderful t-shirt.

Your feel-good story of the day: the basketball tale of Montana Gooch.

An open thread for a discussion tonight on the idea that college football should be banned. Should be interesting.

And finally, it's a big night for the Louisville baseball team, as they face the team that has become their biggest rival outside of Kentucky in Vanderbilt. This year's game holds special significance, however, as it represents the inaugural "Battle of the Barrel." rom their first meeting in 1971 to the most recent NCAA postseason thrillers, Louisville and Vanderbilt have provided the region with some of the best matchups that college baseball has to offer. The programs, separated by only 175 miles, have met eight times in the last four seasons including twice in an NCAA Regional. What began as a typical midweek game has evolved into something much larger - a true rivalry.

This season, the Louisville-Vanderbilt game will take on a name of its own as the two teams meet on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. ET, at Hawkins Field in Nashville in the first Battle of the Barrel. The barrel trophy signifies Kentucky's history as a bourbon-making state and Tennessee's history as a whiskey-making state. Each year, the winning team will be presented with the barrel.

First in pitch in Nashville is scheduled for 7:30.

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