Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
LEXINGTON, Ky. — On the eve of the big Carolina-Kentucky game, John Calipari said he hopes to continue the series after this year.
“Roy [Williams] and I have talked and both of us still want to play the series,” Calipari said Friday. “It’s important for both programs, but there’s only so many games you can play.”
The two storied programs will meet for the 12th straight year, and have continually re-upped a series of two-year, home-and-home affairs.
Yet with both the SEC and the ACC on the brink of conference expansion, things have become muddled to the point where Calipari hosted a poll on his blog asking fans if they had to eliminate one annual game, who would be sacrificed — Carolina, Indiana or Louisville?
The SEC is set to expand from 12 to 14 teams next year with the additions of Missouri and Texas A&M, while the ACC will add Syracuse and Pitt — in 2013 or 2014.
That, in turn, requires more SEC and ACC league games and Calipari hopes the SEC schedule remains at 16 league games instead of 18.
An 18-game schedule leaves just nine openings for non-conference affairs.
“I’m hoping our league stays at 16 games,” he said. “If we stay at 16 it’s an easy decision.”
Yet in addition to annual games with Carolina, Indiana (Dec. 10) and Louisville (Dec. 31), Kentucky this year also played Kansas in the Champions Classic at Madison Square Garden, and St. John’s Thursday in the Big East/SEC Challenge.
“You start adding league games and they’ve got these made-for-TV games and you got the Big East Challenge,” Calipari said. “We’re one of those teams that is locked into a certain number of games, and very, very few do that.”
Still, he sounds optimistic about continuing the Carolina series.
“We still may be playing it,” he said. “There’s other kind of ways of playing this game, and we may be able to figure that out.”
Photo: Getty Images
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.