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Kentucky Basketball: Wildcats Release Non-Conference Schedule

A quick look at Kentucky's non-conference schedule, just released today.

Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Today, Kentucky published their men’s basketball non-conference schedule for 2015-16. As usual, it is a mix of easy and hard games, and as normal lately, it is five really challenging games against some of the highest-quality programs in America.

Lets take a quick look:


Date Note Opponent
Nov 13 1 Albany
Nov 14 1 NJIT
Nov 17 2 vs. Duke
Nov 20 Wright St.
Nov 24 1 Boston
Nov 27 3 vs. South Florida
Nov 30 Illinois St.


Date Note Opponent
Dec 3 at UCLA
Dec 9 Eastern Kentucky
Dec 12 Arizona State
Dec 19 4 vs. Ohio St.
Dec 26 Louisville


Date Note Opponent
Jan 30 5 at Kansas
  • Home games in bold
  • 1-Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Classic (Rupp Arena)
  • 2-Champions Classic (United)
  • 3-Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Classic (American Airlines Arena, Miami)
  • 4-CBS Sports Classic (Barclays Center)
  • 5-Big 12/SEC Challenge (Allen Fieldhouse)

Some quick observations:

  • Man, November is a busy month, particularly early. Four games in seven days, including two back-to-back, and a total of seven games in 17 days.

  • December is a correspondingly quiet month with only five games. Louisville is once again on the day after Christmas.

  • We haven’t had a non-conference game in the middle of conference season since back in 2004, according to my reckoning. By that time, both Kansas and UK should be pretty good. That will be a most interesting game.

  • North Carolina, in case you are wondering, will resume in 2017.

  • Think UCLA won’t be stoked for UK’s visit in early December? I might have to think about making that scene, it will be memorable.

  • We haven’t played Ohio State since that dramatic win in the Elite Eight.

  • Arizona State has a lot of returning players from a pretty good team last season, and a very good shooting guard incoming freshman. The last time UK played ASU was in 2002 at the Maui Classic.

  • I wonder when was the last time UK played two Pac-12 schools in the same year not including the NCAA Tournament?

  • Can't wait to play Duke.  That one should be fun, and we need to win.  We haven't beaten the Blue Devils in a while, and losing to them is officially old.

Overall, this looks like a good schedule. There are some tough games and some easy ones, but it looks very much like every other schedule in the John Calipari era when it comes to non-conference. Gone are the days of brutal schedules like 1999-00:

Date Opponent Result Score Notes
11/17/99 Pennsylvania at (#14) Kentucky W 67 - 50 Preseason NIT (at Lexington, KY)
11/19/99 (#16) Utah at (#14) Kentucky W 56 - 48 Preseason NIT (at Lexington, KY)
11/24/99 (#11) Kentucky vs. (#22) Maryland W 61 - 58 Preseason NIT (at New York, NY)
11/26/99 (#11) Kentucky vs. (#8) Arizona L 51 - 63 Preseason NIT Championship (at New York, NY)
11/29/99 (#13) Kentucky vs. Dayton L 66 - 68 (at Cincinnati, OH)
12/04/99 (#13) Kentucky vs. (#23) Indiana L 75 - 83 (at Indianapolis, IN)
12/07/99 UNC Asheville at (#23) Kentucky W 86 - 41 -
12/11/99 (#23) Kentucky at (#21) Maryland L 66 - 72 -
12/18/99 Louisville at Kentucky W 76 - 46 -
12/23/99 (#5) Michigan State at Kentucky W 60 - 58 -

I think this one is quite tough enough, though.