The long awaited return of the Indiana vs. Kentucky basketball series will arrive in 2025.
First reported by Jon Rothstein, IU and Kentucky have agreed to the following four games series:
Dec. 20, 2025, Rupp Arena, Lexington
Dec. 27, 2026, Lucas Oil Stadium (IU home game)
Dec. 18, 2027, Rupp Arena, Lexington
Dec. 16, 2028, Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall, Bloomington
IU has confirmed the report.
It’s 𝙗𝙖𝙘𝙠. pic.twitter.com/ayD9z36kNU
— Indiana Basketball (@IndianaMBB) October 3, 2023
Rick Bozich of WDRB is reporting IU will control most of the 43,000 tickets for the Lucas Oil Stadium game in 2026.
Indiana and Kentucky last played a game on campus in 2011. That was of course the year Christian Watford made a 3-point shot at the buzzer to beat the No. 1 Wildcats to set off a court storm for the ages. Kentucky coach John Calipari has stated publicly since that game he had no interest in a resumption of the series that included games on campus. Today’s news ostensibly marks an end to that posture.
IU coach Mike Woodson has indicated since he was hired in 2021 the revival of the series was important to him. He’s friends with Calipari and had multiple conversations with the long-time coach of the Wildcats. A year ago Woodson didn’t sound sure if he could get Kentucky to come back to Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.
“I’m gonna stay on his heels about trying to get the Kentucky-Indiana series back on the table,” Woodson said in May of 2022. “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.”
Calipari will be 69 when the 2028 game rolls around, so it’s at least conceivable he doesn’t plan to be around by then.
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.
The 14-year regular season lapse is the longest in the series since the two college basketball bluebloods went 21 years between regular season encounters from 1944 to 1965.
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