The Kentucky Wildcats filled an open spot on their 2020-21 basketball schedule by adding a home game against Notre Dame.
Per an official announcement from the school, Kentucky and Notre Dame agreed to a three-year series with the first matchup at Rupp Arena on Dec. 12. The Fighting Irish will host Kentucky in 2022, with a neutral-site game between the two programs in 2021.
Kentucky head coach John Calipari issued a statement about adding Notre Dame to the schedule for the next three seasons:
"If our previous games are any indication, this is going to be a great series. I can remember playing Notre Dame in 2010 in Freedom Hall and Ben Hansbrough going crazy in the first half and Terrence Jones willing us to victory in the second half. We went to South Bend a couple years later and that place was nuts. The football team was there and they thumped us. And then the game in 2015 in the Elite Eight was one of the best all-around games I've been a part of. Elite play from both teams."
The Wildcats had to cancel a Dec. 6 game against Michigan that was going to be held in London due to the coronavirus pandemic. Those two teams will play at the O2 Arena in December 2022 as part of a three-game series that also includes matchups at the Crisler Center (Dec. 4, 2021) and Rupp Arena (Dec. 2, 2023).
Kentucky and Notre Dame aren't traditional basketball rivals, though the two schools have played a total of 62 times. The Wildcats have dominated the series with 43 victories, including a 68-66 win in their last meeting in the Elite Eight round of the 2015 NCAA Tournament.
The Fighting Irish are 0-8 all-time at Rupp Arena, but they are a respectable 6-10 on their home court against the Wildcats.