NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl picked up the phone and called Memphis coach John Calipari.
``He was begging me for tickets,'' Calipari said Tuesday. ``And I told him no.''
Calipari was joking, of course, but he never passes a chance to take a swipe at the Volunteers. On Saturday, the No. 1 Tigers face No. 2 Tennessee in Memphis, the first time since 1998 the nation's top two teams from the same state play each other.
And everyone wants to come.
Calipari said Pearl was asking for Tennessee alum and Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, among others. Memphis athletic director R.C. Johnson granted the request, Calipari said, but he just wanted to make Pearl sweat.
``Tickets are going online like they're Super Bowl tickets,'' Calipari said during a conference call. ``It's incredible.''
As of Tuesday, tickets were going for as much as $10,000 on Stubhub. The game's timing has a lot to do with the soaring demand.
It's the highest ranking either team has earned, and ESPN's College Gameday will be broadcasting from the game.
``Some people still think it was an ESPN conspiracy,'' Calipari cracked.
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