News came this week that the Indiana Hoosiers and Kentucky Wildcats would be ending their annual out-of-conference series, one that was always hugely popular with the fan bases. The big holdup was a matter of logistics; IU wanted to keep the games played at the two respective home arenas, while UK was in favor of moving them to larger venues in the surrounding cities.
Regardless of where the games were going to be played, they would be a huge draw for sports fans all over the nation. Two of the nation's elite basketball programs going at each other in November or December? It doesn't get much better than that in college hoops outside of March Madness.
With the Hoosiers likely looking for a new top-tier program to establish a home-and-home series with -- and a program that wouldn't mind playing a true road game in a hostile environment -- they should look no further than the Arizona Wildcats.
There are tons of plenty of reasons for Indiana and Arizona to set this up.
For one, it would be tremendous exposure for both schools. While the 'Cats and Hoosiers have been down a bit in recent years, both programs are on their way back to the top if the last two NCAA Tournaments were any indication. McKale Center and Assembly Hall never have problems selling out, and you can bet that one of the major networks would pick this game for primetime television.
Then there is the recruiting aspect of everything. Arizona and Indiana have been amongst the hottest schools in the country on the recruiting trail in recent years, and they do not have to rely on any specific regions of the country in order to be successful. Since they would both be traveling halfway across the country at one point or another, it would allow the coaching staffs to drop in and heavily pitch their programs to recruits living in the area.
That potentially means California for the Hoosiers. This means the Illinois, Ohio and Michigan areas for the Wildcats. Hardly anything to sneeze at in the competitive world of recruiting.
Given the numerous benefits and very little downside, it only makes sense for these two programs to consider beginning a home-and-home series. It would take some work to hammer out all the details, but it could be done.
For more on the Wildcats, check out AZ Desert Swarm.