Kentucky, Michigan Will Reportedly Play A 2020 Game Overseas

Ross Houston
December 7, 2019

MI and Kentucky both rank inside this week's latest AP Top 25 rankings, with MI at No. 4 and Kentucky at No. 8.

Marcus Lee #00 of the Kentucky Wildcats shoots the ball against the Michigan Wolverines during the midwest regional final of the 2014 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 30, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The famed venue is known for hosting concerts of the world's most popular artists, along with several National Basketball Association games.

Jon Rothstein of the Times reports that the deal will not only allow Kentucky to showcase itself internationally, but that it also gives MI the chance to participate in a multiyear series against the Cats. First, we get to showcase collegiate basketball overseas in London before playing that traditional home-and-home series in front of two of the nation's best basketball environments.

Per a release by the MI basketball program, the Wolverines have announced a three-game series with Kentucky, starting in 2020-21, with the first game taking place in the United Kingdom capital city. "The first thing is, to add an opponent like MI and to do so at a point in the schedule where we're beginning to find out who we are as a team will be important in our development". The date of the game will be announced in January. "I imagine the home-and-home games the following seasons will be as good as any nonconference games in the country".

The game in London marks Kentucky's fourth regular-season trip outside the USA and the fifth for MI, but it's the first game in Europe for both schools.

The first game of the home-and-home will occur in Ann Arbor in December of 2021, followed by a showdown at Rupp Arena in Lexington in December of 2022.

The Wolverines are led by first-year head coach Juwan Howard, who has guided MI to a 7-1 start with two top-10 victories and the fourth spot in the latest Associated Press Top 25 rankings. Kentucky won 112-104 on December 20, 1968, in the UK Invitational Tournament.

The arrangements include the universities trading games against one another on campus (known as a home-and-home series) in the 2021-22 and 2022-23 seasons, according to four people with direct knowledge of the agreements. The series is tied 1-1 in Lexington, but the Wildcats lead MI 2-0 in Ann Arbor and 2-1 at neutral sites. The Wolverines and Wildcats will meet up for the first time since the 2013-14 campaign when Kentucky came away with a victory over U-M in the NCAA Tournament Midwest Regional final.

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