While it appears that professional sports are learning to navigate coronavirus and find ways to still have games despite social distancing standards, collegiate sports continue to be impacted by the virus. Michigan and Kentucky were due to square off in London, England on December 4th of this season as part of the London Showcase, an event hosted by the Basketball Hall of Fame. It was part of a three-game series, in which they would play in London, Ann Arbor, and then Lexington in the next three seasons. Those plans have been put on hold, per Wednesday’s announcement.
The good news for college basketball fans is that the series is simply delayed, not cancelled. Besides the fact that the series is delayed, there have been some changes in the order of host sites. Originally, the first game of the series was to be held in London at The O2 Arena, which primarily is known for hosting concerts as opposed to sporting events. The two teams would then face off at the Crisler Center in 2021 before playing at Rupp Arena in 2022. Because of travel uncertainty due to the virus, the two teams will play at the Crisler Center first (2021), then go overseas and play in London (2022) before finishing the series in Lexington (2023).
When the two teams do finally meet next December, it will be a rematch of their 2014 Elite Eight game in which Aaron Harrison hit a three with 2.3 seconds left to lift the Wildcats to 75-72 victory, and the Final Four. Michigan had a loaded roster that year, led by Nik Stauskas, Caris Levert, and Glenn Robinson III. We will see if the Wolverines can get revenge for that heartbreaker, albeit a year later than expected.