Michigan's scheduled clash with Kentucky in London appears uncertain

James Hawkins
The Detroit News

Michigan’s showdown against Kentucky in London next season appears to be in limbo.

Kentucky coach John Calipari told local reporters on Tuesday the Dec. 6 international affair is “up in the air” due to the global coronavirus pandemic and travel restrictions.

Michigan's game next season against Kentucky in London is "up in the air," according to Wildcats coach John Calipari, because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Calipari said the two programs will eventually have to decide whether to proceed with the trip and added the game could be rescheduled for a domestic location.

"It is up in the air right now," Calipari said. "I say 'up in the air.' Where is this thing going? We probably have until about June to make that decision.

"Do we do something that's closer to us? So it is being thought of."

The non-conference clash is part of the inaugural Basketball Hall of Fame London Showcase that’s set to be played at O2 Arena, one of the world’s most popular venues.

It's also part of a three-year deal Michigan and Kentucky agreed to in December. The three-game series was set to start with the overseas contest followed by a 2021 tilt at Crisler Center and 2022 matchup at Rupp Arena.

It’s unclear if a possible change would include switching the series around to have one of the on-campus games played in 2020 or if it would lead to playing at a different neutral site and scrapping the London trip altogether. Tickets for the international bout went on sale last month.

The Michigan basketball program stated it will monitor the situation. Coach Juwan Howard hasn’t spoken to local media since March 10, two days before the Wolverines were set to open play in the Big Ten tournament, and wasn't available for comment.

"COVID-19 has affected so much so far, that we are sure the London event will be evaluated throughout the spring and summer before any decision is made," the program said in a statement. "The safety of the teams, staff workers and fans is what comes first."


Twitter: @jamesbhawkins