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Michigan basketball game in London vs. Kentucky set for Dec. 6

James Hawkins
The Detroit News

It’s time to mark the calendars.

Michigan’s non-conference clash against Kentucky in London next season has been set for 1 p.m. ET (6 p.m. London time) on Sunday, Dec. 6.

Juwan Howard

The game will be part of the inaugural Basketball Hall of Fame London Showcase and will take place at the O2 Arena, marking the first time NCAA Division I college basketball games will be played at one of the world's most popular venues.

Marist College and UMBC will also be participating in the event and will play in the first game of the doubleheader at 10 a.m. ET (3 p.m. London time). Broadcast information will be released at a later date.

Tickets will go on sale to the general public on Feb. 27 at 5 a.m. ET (10 a.m. London time) through AXS.com and The O2 Arena box office. A university presale, available to current Michigan men's basketball season ticket holders and donors with 500 or more priority points, will start Feb. 25 at 10 a.m. ET.

The overseas contest is part of a three-year deal Michigan and Kentucky agreed to this past December that will follow with a home-and-home series. The Wolverines will host the Wildcats in December 2021 and play at Rupp Arena in December 2022.

"What a tremendous opportunity for Michigan, Kentucky and college basketball itself,” Michigan coach Juwan Howard said in a statement. “Not only are we starting a three-game series with one of the premier college programs in the country, we will be able to create that once-in-a-lifetime experience for our young men and our fans. We cannot thank the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame enough for this opportunity. This is going to be truly special.”

The international game will mark Michigan’s sixth time playing a regular-season contest out of the country and first time playing in Europe.

Kentucky holds a 5-2 advantage in the all-time series and won the most recent matchup with a 75-72 Elite Eight victory in the 2014 NCAA Tournament.

“This series with Michigan checks off a lot of boxes when we're looking at teams to schedule,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said in a statement. “The first thing is, to add an opponent like Michigan 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.

"And then to be able to do something different — to be first, which our fans know we love to do — and play this first game in London will be an unforgettable experience for our players and for our fans.”

jhawkins@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @jamesbhawkins