Louisville men’s basketball coach Chris Mack fired on Tuesday after John Calibari said Cardinals did not want to play for Kentucky this season, posting a video on Twitter, announcing that the annual tournament game would actually be played.
“Coach, are we playing? Are you scared? Are you a chicken? Won’t you play Kentucky?” I keep asking that. “As for the England series, here’s the thing: I want to do what’s most convenient for John and his project.”
Both schools continued to plan back and forth to plan the game this season.
Mack said it was originally scheduled for December 12, but Kentucky withdrew as he was expected to return from London on December 6 after playing in Michigan. Mack said the London game against the Wolverines was eventually canceled, but Kentucky had planned Notre Dame on December 12 instead of playing in Louisville on the original date.
Mack also accused Kentucky of trying to change one of the Louisville ACC games without the knowledge of the cardinals.
Louisville has asked Kentucky football coach Mark Stoops to turn the school football game planned to be played at the Cardinals’ home ground into 2021, and Stoops accepted the request.
“If you can do it in football, it looks like you can do it in basketball,” Mack said.
He ended the video by saying that Louisville will play against Kentucky this season.
“I don’t want to stand in the way of the best competition in college basketball. Whatever is most comfortable for the coach’s foot, we will do it,” Mack said. “Yum! Look at the center! Go cards.”
Calibari was brief in his response, writing on Twitter later on Tuesday: “See you on December 26. Can’t wait!”
See you on December 26th. Can’t wait!
– John Calipari (KUKCoachCalipari) September 30, 2020
Mac recently said he doesn’t know if the Wild Gates-Cardinals game will be played this season, because it’s KFC Yum! Center in Louisville – There may be attendance restrictions due to COVID-19.
“Kentucky’s equity is where the fans come forward and then have to go to Roop Arena [in 2021-22] In front of 21,000 fans? Mack said “The Full Court Press” podcast.
In response, Calibari issued a statement making it clear that he expects the game to take place in Louisville this season.
“Chris and I talked and he expressed his concerns,” Calibari said. “While I understand the difficulty and problems created by the epidemic, we are ready to come to Louisville to play this season under previously agreed terms, and we fully expect the Louisville contract to be honored with a return to the Roop arena next season.
“We’re contracted to play Notre Dame and a Big 12 opponent for the SEC / Big 12 Challenge at the Roop Arena this season, and we respect those contracts, whether small or not with the fans. It’s not one of us’ fault. I can not predict that .I hope they are not trying to end this series because it’s important for the situation we are playing at. “
Calibari reaffirmed his desire to play during a video conference on Tuesday morning.
“I’m not going to tell you what they think or what they do. The terms of the contract, we go there, I know they will come here next year,” he said. “How, does anyone really know what this virus is going to do? I mean, what if we’re in the same boat next year? We took them home without fans. We do not know, this virus is driving us, we are not running this virus. So, You know you need to talk to them and I hope we play this year, but otherwise we’re ready.
“I think that game is good for our state. We have to play it … I’m not saying they should or should not do any other project.”
Kentucky has been 2-0 against Louisville since Mac took over in 2018. The Wild Gates are 11-2 against the Cardinals under Calif.