The Kentucky Wildcats and Arizona State Sun Devils will begin a multiyear series this year, according to Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports. The first game between both teams will be played on Dec. 12 at Rupp Arena, and the teams will meet at the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas in 2016.
On looks alone, this matchup and series would appear to favor Kentucky. After all, head coach John Calipari has gone 190-38 in six seasons with the Wildcats and has helped lead the team to four Final Fours as well as a championship in 2012. He is a great recruiter, and came unbelievably close to an undefeated season in 2015.
Thus, it’s hard to see Arizona State, who just went 18-16 (9-9 Pac 12) and has not been an NCAA tournament contender for decades and last won a conference championship in 1975, giving Kentucky a true run for its money.
But how quickly we forget that the Sun Devils have a new head coach in Bobby Hurley, the former Duke Blue Devils star who has since made his bones in the coaching game. He just led the University of Buffalo to its first ever NCAA tournament berth, and that team was speedy and scrappy enough to rank 28th in the nation in scoring and 16th in rebounding, and all playing in a non-power conference like the Mid-American.
That all being said, given how well his players responded to him, perhaps Hurley can make this series with Calipari and Kentucky interesting.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports