Chris Mack Unsure if Louisville & Kentucky Will Play in 2020-21 Season
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Like its football counterpart, the basketball version of the Louisville-Kentucky rivalry could possibly get shelved for a year.
Speaking to John Fanta on the "Fullcourt Press with Fanta and Adams" podcast, Louisville men’s basketball head coach Chris Mack expressed his doubt over playing the Battle of the Bluegrass during the upcoming 2020-21 college basketball season.
“I don’t know, because again you’re dealing with a limited calendar,” Mack said when asked by Fanta if Louisville-Kentucky would be happening in 2020. Mack also stated that more than scheduling reasons could be at play here.
"For instance, the University of Cincinnati, we were supposed to play our second game of the season against those guys at their place. Talking to John Brannen, how fair is it for us to play their home game in front of literally no fans and then have him return the game?" Mack said.
"I think the same thing holds true for the Louisville-Kentucky game. Where is the equity of Kentucky coming here in front of no fans and then having to go back to Rupp Arena in front of 21,000 fans?”
For this year's iteration of the Battle of the Bluegrass, Louisville would be set to host Kentucky at the KFC Yum! Center.
Mack has a remedy for this though. While he has not talked to anyone within Kentucky's camp about the matter, his suggestion would be for the game to be played at a neutral site this year in order to preserve the annual rivalry game and maintain fairness on both sides.
“But I recognize and we recognize, man, the best rivalry — I know I’m biased — in all of college basketball." Mack said. "If there was somehow we could do this at a neutral site, again, that’s without talking to Kentucky and what their scheduling holds.”
This is far from the only Louisville game to be called into question following the NCAA's decision to push back college basketball's start date to Nov. 25. As Mack referenced in his interview with Fanta, Louisville's rivalry matchup at Cincinnati could be pushed back after it was renewed earlier this season and originally set for Nov. 13.
Reports have also surfaced that the Cardinals have withdrawn from the 2020 MGM Resorts Main Event in Las Vegas, which was originally set for Nov 20-22.
(Photo of Chris Mack, John Calipari: Matt Stone/Courier Journal)
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