Calipari says he is disappointed the Wildcats won't play in London this year, partly because he was looking forward to meeting the Queen

Washington (AFP) - Perennial US college basketball powerhouses Kentucky and Michigan have postponed their scheduled December 6 matchup in London until 2022 because of the coronavirus pandemic, the university teams announced.

The inaugural Basketball Hall of Fame London Showcase will be played at the O2 Arena on December 4, 2022 as part of a three-game series that will see games played in 2021 at Michigan and 2023 at Kentucky.

“Unfortunately, the unknown combination of health, safety, international travel regulations and the economic viability for all parties involved has required us to postpone this highly anticipated event,” Basketball Hall of Fame chief executive John Doleva said. “We look forward to hosting a fantastic event in 2022.”

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) twin bill would also have included Marist against the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

The Kentucky Wildcats own eight NCAA titles, the most recent in 2012, while the Michigan Wolverines captured their only crown in 1989.

“I’m disappointed that we aren’t able to go to London this season –- I was really looking forward to meeting the Queen –- but I’m glad we were all able to come together, figure this out and preserve this series for the future,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said.