Fans wishful of a return to the days when Indiana and Kentucky met every season in men's college basketball received a glimmer of hope Wednesday night.
Indiana University Athletics Director Fred Glass told the Courier Journal that Hoosiers and Wildcats officials have talked about potentially renewing the rivalry.
“We’ve had some very preliminary conversations with Kentucky,” Glass said. “Of course, (Indiana Coach) Archie (Miller) has a great relationship with (Kentucky) Coach (John) Calipari. I’m optimistic that we’ll get something worked out. I’m hopeful to get something worked out, but there’s nothing to report on that."
Kentucky and Indiana ended the series in the 2011-12 season. It had been played every season since 1969-70.
The series ended when the two sides could not agree on a site. UK wanted neutral sites. IU wanted home-and-home.
IU offered a compromise: a four-year deal with two games at neutral sites and one each on the teams' homecourts.
UK said no.
When the teams met in the 2016 NCAA Tournament, neither Calipari nor then-Indiana coach Tom Crean ruled out a revival of the series but both coaches said future schedules made it difficult to accommodate a UK-IU game.
Crean has since moved on to Georgia and been replaced by Miller.
Kentucky has standing commitments to play several of college basketball's top teams in the coming seasons. In 2018-19 alone, Kentucky will face Duke in the Champions Classic, North Carolina in the CBS Sports Classic and Kansas in the SEC-Big 12 Challenge.
Kentucky leads the all-time series with Indiana 32-25.