July 10th, 2012 01:06 PM║ Posted By: John Pennington ║ Permalink
║ Schools: Kentucky
Tags: Duke Georgia Dome, Maryland Barclays Center, Notre Dame Road, Rupp Arena
John Calipari says he’s now running a non-traditional program. He wasn’t during his first three seasons in Lexington, but now he is. And part of being a non-traditional program means playing more big games in major arenas in neutral cities… and fewer home-and-home series that lead to games being played in good opponents’ gyms.
We’ll not have anyone say we’re questioning the overall toughness of Calipari’s schedule. We’re not. He plays as many tough teams as anyone. He just doesn’t want to play them in their home arenas anymore. And, as we wrote a couple months back when Coach Cal launched his “non-traditional program” idea, that decision will result in fewer good games being played at Rupp Arena in front of the ticket-buying, Lexington faithful.
Maryland (Barclays Center, Brooklyn)
Duke (Georgia Dome, Atlanta)
Lafayette College (Home)
Morehead State (Home)
Long Island University (Home)
Notre Dame (Road… due to SEC/Big East Challenge)
Eastern Michigan (Home)
So basically, Cat fans will get to see Baylor in Rupp Arena along with nine assorted creampuffs and cupcakes. It’s a bakery-made home schedule, for sure, but UK fans still basking in the glory of an NCAA Tournament championship might not give a single hoot. Not now anyway.
Ah, but will Kentucky fans who buy tickets and pay to park and pay for popcorns and Cokes eventually grow weary of seeing just one or two marquee nonconference home games per season when most of the biggies are played in some dome several states away? We shall see.
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