The Kentucky men’s basketball rivalry game against Louisville on Dec. 29 all but derailed discussions of the football team playing in the Belk Bowl in Charlotte, which is at the same time (1 p.m.)
It’s made for some interesting schedule adventures for fans who want to go to the Music City Bowl in Nashville (starts at 4:30 p.m. EST) and still watch one of the most important basketball games of the season.
It’s a problem UK doesn’t mind trying to solve, Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart said.
“These are challenges other programs have had to face,” he said recently. “Certainly, that’s something we hope to face on a regular basis. That’s the challenge you want. You want to have two programs that are functioning at a high level. That have people that really want you to be on a television.”
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Will this change the way Kentucky decides to schedule basketball? Can it? That seems unlikely with television making a multitude of programming decisions and probably not planning far enough in advance to sort through what bowls are affiliated with which conferences.
Still, Barnhart said Kentucky “will work at it” to try and eliminate as many conflicts as possible between its marquee programs.
“But I think those are the kind of challenges I think are really, really special for your program,” he said. “I want us to have multiple opportunities to showcase the University of Kentucky.”