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SHORTLY AFTER taking over at Tennessee in 2005, Pearl (left) engaged Calipari in a pitched recruiting battle for Willie Kemp, a standout point guard from Bolivar, Tenn. His efforts ended up drawing the ire of Calipari, who claimed Pearl kept contacting Kemp even after the player publicly committed to the Tigers.
TALKING THE TALK
"We play Florida, not Central Florida [as Memphis does]. We play Ole Miss, not Southern Miss. But I can't beat [Calipari] in recruiting, and I can't beat him on TV [appearances]."
WHEN THEY MEET: Feb. 23 in Memphis
THE BATTLE OF THE BIRDS
HOW WE GOT HERE