I don't know whether to take issue with one side over the other, or take issue with both sides, or just assume they're both joking and move on. But after giving it some thought, I'll go with the latter. Comments about Tuesday's superstar showdown between #1 Kentucky and #2 Michigan State have livened up an already exciting matchup.

On Sunday, the Wildcats take on Northern Kentucky. Soon after the conclusion of that game, they will head to Chicago to square off against the Michigan State Spartans in the Champions Classic.

But John Calipari doesn't think it's "fair" in the one-and-done era for young teams to play experienced, talented, and veteran-laden teams this early in the season.

I wish he hadn't said that.

Yes, it might be one of those sly, motivational tactics he so often likes to employ, but, this time, it sounds like he's complaining. Calipari has said, on many occasions, that he does not like the one-and-done system but will operate within it and try to get the very best players to come to Kentucky. He has succeeded at that goal quite often. But if he's going to accept this as the "new normal" he's going to have to accept that Kentucky should ALWAYS be involved in high profile games because of its tradition and its status as a national powerhouse in college basketball. Frankly, a big game like this is EXACTLY what the doctor ordered for this young Kentucky team. A challenge like this is a great education in college basketball.

And I think Michigan State coach Tom Izzo gets what Cal's doing but is playing along, nonetheless. Go to the 8:24 mark of the this video and hear what Coach Izzo had to say about Calipari's comment.



I love college basketball. I love big games. I love big games that don't seem like big games. I love big games that are obviously big games. And I love the little "tricks" coaches play on each other.

Now, let's see what happens Tuesday night in Chicago.