The University of Kentucky Wildcats basketball program has released an updated 2021-22 schedule, which now includes game times and TV channels for the majority of what takes place in the new college basketball season.
As usual, Kentucky basketball will get plenty of ESPN treatment as the premier program in college basketball. As of now, the Wildcats have six games on ESPN, and you can bet there will be more as the season goes on. Kentucky will also have at least five games on CBS.
After the COVID-19 pandemic last year, the Wildcats will have a full regular-season schedule that features two exhibition games, 13 non-conference matchups, and 18 SEC games.
If you ask me, the biggest game on Kentucky’s schedule is right out of the gate against the Duke Blue Devils on November 9th in the 2021 Champions Classic. The atmosphere to kick off Mike Krzyzewski’s farewell tour at Madison Square Garden will be astonishing.
If John Calipari’s Wildcats can come out and shine under the bright lights in their first action, it will energize a fan base that suffered through a 9-16 mountain of pain last year.
First order of business — Beat Duke.
After that blockbuster opening game against the Blue Devils, there are several other marquee non-conference games on this year’s schedule — including the Ohio State Buckeyes on December 18th in the CBS Sports Classic, then six weeks later, the road game vs. the Kansas Jayhawks in the Big 12/SEC challenge.
The SEC will feature a full slate of 18 games with Kentucky playing each school once. As in previous years, Kentucky will play the Florida Gators, Vanderbilt Commodores and Tennessee Volunteers twice. The LSU Tigers and Alabama Crimson Tide are the two other opponents that will face the Wildcats twice.
The Wildcats’ regular-season finale will be at Florida on March 5th, which is followed up by the 2022 SEC Tournament at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida from March 9-12.
Kentucky will have a special non-conference game following their SEC opener vs. the Missouri Tigers (December 29th), as Tubby Smith and his High Point Panthers will travel to Rupp Arena on December 31st.
To give you an idea of how challenging this schedule will be, here’s a look at where various teams rank in the ESPN preseason college basketball top 25 poll.
- No. 2 Kansas Jayhawks
- No. 11 Duke Blue Devils
- No. 14 Arkansas Razorbacks
- No. 16 Alabama Crimson Tide
- No. 18 Tennessee Volunteers (twice)
- No. 19 Ohio State Buckeyes
- No. 22 Auburn Tigers
Let’s get this party started!