Is it time to play Murray?

Hunter Campbellover 9 years

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Andy Katz had an interesting blurb on his blog earlier today that got the Jackson Purchase native in me thinking. He noted that Murray State, fresh off its best season in school history, is having trouble filling out its schedule for next year. The Racers are looking for a couple more games to complete the slate, but opponents are apparently hard to come by when you're coming off of a 2-loss season and return an All-American:
2. Murray State coach Steve Prohm said he is desperately seeking a tournament for next season and is attempting to get into the Charleston Classic. He said he’s willing to open up against a high-major on the road or in the first week, but needs a home-and-home series with the home game being next year. This is the price a school like Murray pays for having an outstanding season and returning an all-American candidate in Isaiah Canaan
Now, Kentucky will almost certainly not be playing a home-and-home series with Murray. If they don't want one with Indiana then there's basically no shot Murray would ever get the luxury of hosting the Cats. However, if we ignore Murray's particular scheduling nuances for a minute and only focus on the two teams getting together for a game, wouldn't this year be a great time to do it? With the Indiana series possibly going on a hiatus, Kentucky could use another worthwhile non-conference game to replace the Hoosiers if they don't fill that spot with a perennial power. Murray needs games and despite their incredible run last year, the exposure that playing Kentucky would bring would still be huge for their program. Playing Murray wouldn't make or break either school's season or schedule, but it would be a great event for fans in the state and provide a quality opponent in a unique season where Kentucky appears to be losing 0ne of its annual rivalry games. Kentucky wouldn't need the game (and neither would Murray, given that they'd probably lose), but if there was ever a year for the two programs to meet for the first time in history, this season would be the one. Since 2000, many of the schools in Kentucky have gotten to play the Cats, whether in exhibition games with the D-II or lower schools or in the regular season for the D-1 programs. Western played (and beat) Kentucky in 2001, while Morehead and Eastern, who share a conference with Murray, have each played the Cats three time in the regular season since 2000. To this point Murray hasn't gotten that chance, but this season presents a unique opportunity. There could be an opening in the schedule and both teams will be toward the top of college basketball, so there is no better time to make the first meeting between the programs memorable and I hope the possibility at least gets a look. I want the game to happen, the fans in West Kentucky want it to happen, and people all over the Bluegrass want it to happen. Ok. Maybe it's just the people in Western Kentucky. Or maybe it's just me because I want to take some credit if they end up playing. Regardless, it's way past time for Murray to get their shot at the Cats, and this year seems like the perfect time to make it happen.

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2021-09-20

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