United Kingdom headed to the United Kingdom for worldwide basketball game

Michigan basketball announces three-game series with Kentucky

Michigan basketball announces three-game series with Kentucky

The University of MI and the University of Kentucky have signed a three-year men's basketball deal that will take both teams to London, England, in the 2020-21 season as well as a home-and-home series for the following two campaigns. "I imagine the home-and-home games the following seasons will be as good as any nonconference games in the country".

The contest scheduled for December of 2020 at the O2 Arena is part of a three-game series confirmed by the schools on Thursday.

United Kingdom has played internationally on a number of occasions for foreign exhibition tours, but the game in London will mark Kentucky's fourth regular-season trip outside the US, third under Calipari and first in Europe.

The affair with the Wildcats will be one of several challenging non-conference games for the Maize and Blue next season, who are also slated to face OR in Eugene and two of Baylor, NC State and Villanova in the Empire Classic in NY.

MI and Kentucky both rank inside this week's latest AP Top 25 rankings, with MI at No. 4 and Kentucky at No. 8. The Kentucky-led team won all eight of its games to win the gold medal.

MI is no stranger to challenging home-and-home series, having scheduled such matchups with Power Conference schools in recent years including Arizona, Arkansas, Iowa State, Texas and UCLA. The Wildcats beat MI in a 2014 Elite Eight game in their most recent contest.

"This series with MI checks off a lot of boxes when we're looking at teams to schedule", Kentucky coach John Calipari said.

Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo, who attended Kentucky and played two seasons for current MI coach Juwan Howard when Howard was a Heat assistant, told MLive this summer that he believed Howard was trying to schedule Kentucky. The year before, MI won two games in Rupp Arena to reach the Final Four.

Prior to the 2014 meeting, the two squads had not met since the 1992-93 season, when Howard and the Wolverines defeated Kentucky in the Final Four in New Orleans.

The on-campus visits in 2021 and 2022 will mark the first in the series since UK's 1970 trip to Ann Arbor and the 1968 UK Invitational Tournament in Memorial Coliseum. The Wildcats were ranked No. 1 earlier this season and are now eighth.

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