TALKING THE TALK
Asked to characterize the Indiana rivalry, Weber says, "It's a huge game. There'll be some extra electricity when we play each other this year. Hearts will beat faster, and our fans will be a little more vocal than usual."
WHEN THEY MEET: Jan. 13 in Bloomington; Feb. 7 in Champaign
ENEMIES OF THE VOLUNTEER STATE
HOW WE GOT HERE
IN ROBERT GREENE'S The 48 Laws of Power, the author explains his sixth law (Court Attention at All Costs) by saying that it is "better to be slandered and attacked than ignored." This is gospel to Memphis's John Calipari and Tennessee's Bruce Pearl, a pair of program builders who combine coaching acumen with hucksterism. Says Pearl, "We like annoying each other enough to make this fun." The series was renewed in 2006 after a four-year hiatus; Tennessee had threatened to stop playing Memphis in football if the Tigers didn't schedule a hoops series. Since then they've split a pair of games while trading verbal jabs. Calipari said playing the Vols wasn't beneficial to the Tigers' "national schedule." Pearl said that "there isn't a program in the country that respects us less than Memphis." In truth the Vols get to raise their profile with Memphis prospects, and the Tigers, who play in a depleted Conference USA, get a late-season RPI boost.