BLOOMINGTON, IN - MARCH 29, 2021 - Head Coach Mike Woodson of the Indiana Hoosiers during a press conference in Bloomington, IN. Photo by Missy Minear/Indiana Athletics

Kentucky’s John Calipari confirms series with IU basketball will return in 2025

After weeks of rumors, Kentucky head coach John Calipari confirmed on Wednesday the border rivalry is coming back.

Reporting from the Southeastern Conference media day, multiple outlets relayed Calipari’s answer to a question about the series.

“Well, we’ve agreed in principle that we’ll be playing them. It’ll start in ’25-26. But it’s at the administrative level now, so all the details will be worked out.” Calipari said at the event in Birmingham, Ala.

Last week CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein reported the discussions entailed a multi-year series with games both on campus and at neutral sites.

Indiana and Kentucky have not played in the regular season since 2011, when Christian Watford hit his famous 3-point shot at the buzzer to take down the No. 1 Wildcats and set off a court storm for the ages.  Calipari has said repeatedly after that game he would not bring his team back to Bloomington.

IU head coach Mike Woodson has been asked multiple times about the series, and each time he has emphasized the importance of the rivalry to college basketball.

“I’m gonna stay on his heels about trying to get the Kentucky-Indiana series back on the table,” Woodson said in May. “Over the years that was a helluva game. It might not be Bloomington-Lexington. However we’ve got to get it done, I’ll take it.”

Indiana vs. Kentucky is a series that dates back to 1924. The programs have met 57 times, including every year from 1969 through 2011. From 1992 to 2006 the teams played at neutral sites (Indianapolis and Louisville) with the crowd split roughly 50/50.

Most recently, the programs met in the 2012 and 2016 NCAA Tournaments, with IU winning the most recent contest.  Kentucky leads the all-time series, 32-25.

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