Kentucky will not take on a new opponent this week to replace the team’s postponed matchup against the Texas A&M Aggies.
During his call-in radio show Monday evening, UK head coach John Calipari said the team will have the week off before taking on the Florida Gators on Saturday afternoon.
“No game this week,” he said. “I didn’t want to add another game, shove another game in there.”
Originally scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 23 at 7 p.m. ET, the Wildcats’ home matchup against the Aggies was officially postponed Saturday evening due to a combination of positive tests, contact tracing and subsequent quarantining of individuals within the Texas A&M men’s basketball program.
This is the second league game that has been postponed, as UK’s home game against South Carolina originally slated for Dec. 29 was also postponed. The team also had previous matchups against Detroit Mercy and Texas canceled.
Following Kentucky’s win at Tennessee Saturday afternoon, Calipari said UK would likely play three SEC games the final week of the season as opposed to adding a new game this week.
“Yeah (we could add new games), but the gauntlet that these kids have just been through, I’m not sure we don’t take a couple days and catch our breath,” Calipari said. “Then try to play both A&M and South Carolina both that last week where we get three games. Play at Mississippi, then two home games before our conference tournament. That’s what I’d like to do. These kids need a breath, come on. They’ve been through a gauntlet.”
Prior to the Texas A&M postponement, Calipari said any end-of-year scheduling changes or additions depended on the SEC’s plan to use the final week of the season for rescheduling previously postponed games. If the league needed UK to reschedule conference games for seeding purposes, that would obviously be the priority. If the SEC didn’t, Calipari said he was looking to add “a couple games” to the schedule, adding that several athletic directors of mid-major programs had already reached out to Kentucky asking to play.
“So which games are the most important that they make up for the seeding? Whatever that is, if we’re not one of them and we have a week, yes, I’d try to schedule a couple games,” he said. “I’ve had a couple athletic director friends of mine who are at mid-majors that have said, “Hey if you want to play us, let us know.” So that’s a possibility.”
Instead, it appears UK will end the year with the two confirmed games against Florida on Saturday and at Ole Miss on March 2, followed by two make-up games against Texas A&M and South Carolina to close out the regular season.