Kentucky schedules tornado relief game with Western Kentucky after Louisville COVID outbreak

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After losing its game this week against Louisville due to the COVID-19 pandemic, No. 20 Kentucky secured the perfect replacement.

The Wildcats will host Western Kentucky on Wednesday — something the two schools will use to raise money through the Red Cross for tornado relief for the region after they were hit with storms earlier this month.

"We were all disappointed to learn we won't be able to play Louisville on Wednesday, but I am thrilled we were able to come together quickly and put this game together for everyone in this state," Kentucky coach John Calipari said in a statement. "I want to thank Western Kentucky for working with us on short notice. Not only will this be a great test for our team, but we will be able to provide aid to the Western Kentucky region and lift the spirits of some special people who really need it."

At least 90 people in five states were killed when tornadoes ripped through the south and midwest earlier this month. At least 77 people were killed in Kentucky alone, and one tornado traveled almost 164 miles through Kentucky, according to The New York Times.

Louisville postponed the rivalry matchup on Monday morning due to an outbreak within its program. The two schools are currently working to reschedule the game.

So instead, Kentucky will host Western Kentucky for just the seventh ever meeting between the two programs. Kentucky beat the Hilltoppers in the 2012 NCAA tournament, but fell to them in 2001 in their last game in Lexington.

Kentucky said in a statement that it will be accepting donations at all Rupp Arena entrances during the game, and that it will still run its Kentucky United Toy Drive as scheduled too.

"I know our fans were looking forward to the game with our intrastate rival,” athletic director Mitch Barnhart said in a statement. “In lieu of that game, Western Kentucky and the University of Kentucky will come together to provide some relief for our state as we work through the tragedy of the last couple of weeks in Western Kentucky."

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