LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - University of Louisville men’s basketball head coach Chris Mack had words to say Monday night on comments about the University of Kentucky’s non-conference schedule and the UofL-UK game.
Fans of both the University of Louisville as well as the University of Kentucky have been wondering, “Will the big rivalry game even happen this year?”
With concerns on the COVID-19 pandemic limiting fans within the KFC Yum! Center, and the recent announcement of the NCAA’s start date for the season on November 25, there was speculation if the game would take place.
Coach Mack went on the podcast “Full Court Press with Fanta and Adams" last week, and was asked about the possibility of playing the game.
“Where is the equity of Kentucky coming here in front of no fans, and then having to go to Rupp Arena in front of 21,000 fans?” Mack asked during that podcast. Mack later said he’d be up for playing the game at a neutral location if schedules allowed.
Fast forward to September 29, where University of Kentucky men’s basketball head coach John Calipari addressed comments during a Zoom conference. He said the rivalry matchup would continue on as planned.
“We have the date and time (for the game), unless that changes,” Calipari said. “If they choose not to play, then we’ll plug in another team.”
Now Coach Mack is back, addressing Cardinal fans everywhere in a video some Twitter users have described as “spicy.”
“I keep getting asked, ‘Coach, are we playing the game? Are you scared? Are you chicken?’" Mack begins the video.
“As for the UK series, here’s the thing. I want to do what’s most convenient for John and his program,” Mack said. He goes on to mention how they had a scheduled date to play the game on December 12, where the University of Kentucky backed out as they would be returning from London December 6 after playing Michigan.
He mentioned the December 6 game has since been canceled and then the team had asked if they could play the 12th.
“Never mind the fact that they scheduled Notre Dame in lieu of playing us on the mutually agreed upon date of December 12th," Mack continued. “Never mind the fact they called ESPN and tried to change one of our ACC games without our knowledge or permission.”
Mack also talked about how University of Kentucky football head coach Mark Stoops honored a request to move their trip to Louisville for their rivalry game from 2020 to 2021.
“If you can do it in football, seems you can do it in basketball,” Mack said.
Mack said despite all of this, he’s not standing in the way of “college basketball’s best rivalry.”
“Whatever is most convenient for Coach Cal, we’ll do it! See you in the Yum! Center. Go Cards," Mack said.
Coach John Calipari tweeted around 8 p.m. Tuesday confirming the game.
“See you December 26th. Can’t wait!" the tweet reads.