Kentucky John Calipari claims that he knew a rematch with Indiana was inevitable before the NCAA Tournament bracket was revealed.
“He [Tom Crean] and I talked, and I told him ‘you are going to be in our region,’” Calipari said Saturday following the Wildcats’ third-round win over Iowa State at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Ky. “Has nothing to do with match-ups or story lines or any of that. I knew we would be playing him.”
As it turns out, the third-year Kentucky coach was right.
In perhaps the most anticipated Sweet 16 game, Calipari and the Wildcats will get the opportunity to avenge their 73-72 loss to Indiana in Atlanta on Friday in a South Regional semifinal in the Georgia Dome.
For Calipari, the game will be difficult for two reasons: His friendship with Crean, and the relentless approach IU’s coach takes when preparing his team.
“I cannot stand playing friends because, if they win, I’m sick after the game,” Calipari said. “And if I win, I enjoy it, but I don’t enjoy it be