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Kentucky and Michigan to play in London in 2020; Home-and-home series will follow

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UK in the UK.

Drew Brown - Sea of Blue

The Kentucky Wildcats and Michigan Wolverines will play a neutral site game in London in December of 2020 next season, according to the New York Times and Jon Rothstein.

The deal is for 2020-2023, with the first game taking place in London next season, then followed by a home-and-home series in 2021-2022 and 2022-2023. The London game will take place at the O2 Arena, where most of the NBA London games take place.

It was reported over the summer that Kentucky was looking into a game in London, so it’s not a big surprise to see it finally come to fruition.

Kentucky has taken foreign trips to the Bahamas and Canada since John Calipari arrived in Lexington, but the only regular-season game they’ve played out of country was in the Bahamas in 2016.

They do typically play multiple games across America in events like the Champions Classic, CBS Sports Classic, and even the Maui Invitational during the 2010-11 season, but traveling overseas will be a first.

The home-and-home is unusual for John Calipari, as he has typically refused to do this since the court-storming that happened against Indiana back in 2011.

The first game of the home-and-home will be in Ann Arbor in 2021, followed by the Wolverines making the trip to Lexington the following season in 2022.

Juwan Howard becoming head coach at Michigan probably had a lot of influence in the Wildcats and Wolverines agreeing to the deal, as Cal and Howard have been good friends.

In addition, the Wolverines have been one of the surprise teams of the early season, climbing into the top five of the top 25 polls thanks to big wins over Gonzaga and North Carolina. If Howard already has his team playing at that level, imagine what they’ll look like over the next two years when he’s getting bigger recruits and players are more comfortable with his system.

This should be fun and beneficial for both sides.