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Did Memphis pass on opening the KFC Yum Center?

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I hadn't heard anything about it, but that's the case according to Gary Parrish.

Brad Stevens got a technical, Ronald Nored committed six turnovers and Gordon Hayward, the star of last season's team, was in Salt Lake City preparing for the 11th game of his NBA career and thus in no position to rescue. So, in hindsight, Butler would've been wise to reject an offer to open the KFC Yum! Center just like a health-conscious man always is better off avoiding a box of Extra Crispy.

That's what Memphis basically did, by the way.

Josh Pastner passed on the idea of helping Louisville unveil its new arena because, at least partly, the second-year coach was more interested in starting 2-0 with a young team than being part of a historic event with one of Memphis' historical rivals.

Consequently, the 19th-ranked Tigers are now 2-0 and on track to move up in next week's polls, their reputation as a potentially great team still intact. Meanwhile, 16th-ranked Butler -- i.e., the school that opted to make its first game with a Division I opponent this season one against a Hall of Fame coach in front of 22,000 opposing fans -- is 1-1 and ridiculed.

I was slightly perturbed when I first heard this, but on second thought it's hard to blame a program that's a combined 0-467 in all contests against another program for taking a pass in this situation.

It would have been like Sonny Corleone christening a new MMA Ring by fighting Carlo Rizzi.