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A peek at next year's slate

Looking forward to Novemeber already, Cats fans? Here's a quick look at the non-conference schedule for Kentucky men's basketball this fall.

Nov. 20-22, 2006 (Mon.-Wed. of Thanksgiving Week)
Maui Invitational (UK, Ga. Tech, Purdue, Oklahoma, UCLA, Memphis, Chaminade, DePaul)
Unlike last year's ridiculously top-heavy Maui field, this year's features more of an up-and-comers group, with a young and talented Ga. Tech, a solid UCLA minus Farmar, a rebuilding but talented Memphis. I believe the Cats can win Maui.

Dec. 2
At North Carolina
Cupcake city, baby! OK, maybe not. A probable top 3 preseason UNC team should tell the guys in the right shade of blue where they stand. A win over UNC at Dean Dome would be instant credibility for the Wildcats.

Dec. 9
Indiana at RUPP
Because of a scheduling conflict, this annual border war will take place at RUPP Arena rather than at Freedom Hall. Big time TV game with new coach Kelvin Sampson and a returning DJ White.

Dec. 16
At Louisville
Coming off an NIT bid, chances are Rick's Redbirds will be fighting mad. Good for them. Time for Tubby to again teach the mentor who's boss now.

Other games of note ...
vs. Chattanooga (Freedom Hall) - Annual Freedom Hall game.
Coll. of Charleston - New coach Bobby Cremins
Santa Clara
Miss. Valley State
UMass - Former UK point man Travis Ford in a not-so-easy one
Miami Univ. (OH)
Eastern Kentucky
Houston - Tom Penders' improving program

All in all, a few landmines, but a lot of chance for early-season return to glory if the Cats can come out of the preseason ready to roll.