John Calipari confirms Kentucky will not play in The Kennel: “Anybody that wants us to play in a 6,000-seat facility, wants us to lose”

The college basketball world was treated to a tremendous gift on Tuesday when the Gonzaga Bulldogs and Kentucky Wildcats agreed to a home-and-home series, starting in Spokane in 2022.

Attention quickly turned to where the game would be played. Mark Few commented that he’d love for his team to play at Rupp Arena in the return game in 2023, but rumors quickly circulated that Calipari did not share the same sentiment regarding Gonzaga’s home arena, The Kennel.

Calipari confirmed those rumors in a series of tweets on Thursday morning, congratulating himself on making the game happen despite having to travel to Spokane first while making it clear he does not believe his team should play in an arena with less than 6,000 people in it.

Calipari went on to share Kentucky’s history playing road games in small arenas, saying he stopped looking after he reached the 1970’s without finding a game where the Wildcats played a true road game in an arena as small as The Kennel.

“Anybody that wants us to play in a 6,000-seat facility, wants us to lose! And I get that,” Calipari wrote, before revealing his research.

Few’s immediate willingness to agree to a game at Rupp Arena stands in stark contrast to Calipari’s comments, which seem to indicate apprehension in his team’s ability to win in an intimate setting like The Kennel.

Of course, getting a true blue blood like Kentucky to travel across the country and play in Spokane against the potentially No. 1 ranked Zags is still a massive win for Mark Few and the Spokane community, so bogging down the specifics of where they play is certainly not everyone’s cup of tea.

If anything, Calipari’s comments likely add more fuel to the fire for what should be one of the best college basketball games the city has ever seen.

The game is scheduled for November 20. A time has not been announced, and tickets are not for sale yet.

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