LOUISVILLE, Ky. - While the matchups between the Louisville Cardinals and the Kentucky Wildcats has been relatively one-sided on the hardwood in recent years, it has still remained one of the most contentious rivalries in college basketball.
And Louisville head coach Chris Mack proved that on Tuesday night.
In a video posted to Twitter that played out almost like a WWE wrestling promo, Mack took several shots at Kentucky head John Calipari regarding the Battle of the Bluegrass.
"Cards fans, your fearless leader Coach Mack. I keep getting asked, 'Coach are we playing the game? Are you scared? Are you a Chicken? You won’t play Kentucky?'" the third-year head coach said with a sarcastic tone. "As for the UK series here is the thing. I want to do what’s most convenient for John (Calipari) and his program. You do believe that right? That I want to do what’s best for John?"
Recently, there had been doubt that this year's iteration of the matchup would even be played. Earlier this month Mack said that he was unsure Louisville-Kentucky would even happen in 2020-21 because of fan attendance and scheduling issues.
Just two days later, Kentucky head coach John Calipari said in a statement to the Courier-Journal that they "are prepared to come to Louisville to play this season under the previously agreed upon terms, and we fully expect Louisville to honor the agreement with a return game to Rupp Arena next season."
Calipari also said Tuesday that the Wildcats already "have the date and the time [for the game] unless that changes". It appears that Mack took issue with these statements, because he laid everything out on what had being going on behind the scenes in the video.
"Never mind the fact that we had a Dec. 12 mutually agreed upon date to play the game. And never mind the fact that they backed out of the 12th because they were returning from London on December 6th after playing Michigan. Thought it was too close to the 12th. Never mind the fact that Dec. 6 game got canceled, no trip to London? Can we play that game on the 12th? Never mind the fact that they scheduled Notre Dame in lieu of playing us on the mutually agreed upon date of Dec. 12.
“Never mind the fact that they called ESPN and tried to change one of our ACC games without our knowledge or permission. Never mind the fact that Coach (Mark) Stoops and his football program at the University of Kentucky honored that request in football to move Louisville’s home game from 2020 to 2021. If you can do it in football, seems like you could do it in basketball. Never mind the fact that the University of Cincinnati asked us to do the exact same thing that we’re asking Kentucky to do, and we honored that request.
"Listen I don’t want to stand in the way of college basketball’s best rivalry. Whatever is most convenient for Coach Cal, we’ll do it. See you in the Yum! Center. Go Cards."
(Photo of Chris Mack: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports)
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