Posted: Aug 1, 2012 10:43 AM
For 95 years, Kentucky High School basketball fans have watched a state championship game on Saturday night.
Now for something completely different.
The 2013 Sweet 16 championship game will play out on a Sunday afternoon due to a potential scheduling conflict with UK at Rupp Arena.
"We received a request a few days ago from the university to consider other Saturday and potentially Sunday alternatives in the event that the final schedule for 2012-2013 necessitated the Wildcats playing at home on Saturday, March 9," KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett said. "The 2013 scheduling has been a constantly evolving challenge for a while, as we had previously surrendered our contracted dates for the arena to allow UK to host the NCAA second/third round."
The Sweet 16 semifinal game will move to Saturday evening, with the championship game scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday. That will eliminate teams playing two games on Saturday, surely a relief to many coaches.
Tackett emphasized the change only applies to the 2013 season.
"They say that necessity is the mother of invention," he said. "While we all like to be reverent to tradition, it's not a bad idea to try something new, and we have certainly been willing to do that in the last few years. The format of our tournament, particularly Saturday, has been a discussion topic for years with coaches, fans and media. Circumstances have created both a need and an opportunity for us to try something different for one year and we will see what happens with it. The worst that can happen is we go back to the formula we know has worked for most of our 94 years."
UK Executive Associate Athletic Director DeWayne Peevy expressed appreciation for the KHSAA's flexibility.
"We appreciate the KHSAA, not only for their working with the University on hosting the second/third rounds of the NCAA, but in helping through this unprecedented schedule conflict," he said. "We both need the arena, and in this way, we both have access."
Tackett said the girls' Sweet 16 format will remain unchanged, but left the door open for future adjustments.
"Without the necessity due to scheduling conflicts, we did not think it would be fair to the participants and fans of the girls' tournament to revise that schedule, and arbitrarily switch them to a new format that has not been tried yet," he said. "This change is being made because of a scheduling conflict with the boys' tournament. No such conflict exists with the girls' event in Bowling Green. But after the 2013 tournament, we will review the situation as we do each year, and make any necessary future decisions."