LEXINGTON — Adjusting to the new start date for the 2020-21 season, as approved by the NCAA Division I Council, the Kentucky men’s basketball team has revised and released an updated and completed schedule for the upcoming season.
The Wildcats will play nine non-conference opponents to go along with 18 Southeastern Conference matchups. Beginning Nov. 25 with a home game vs. Morehead State in the Bluegrass Showcase at Rupp Arena, UK will play eight of its nine non-conference games before league play begins Dec. 29 vs. South Carolina. The SEC/Big 12 Challenge, which will bring Texas to Rupp Arena, will be played in the middle of league play on Jan. 30. The SEC Tournament is set to be held March 10-14 in Nashville, Tennessee.
Adhering to the NCAA Division I Council’s framework for scheduling, UK will play in 24 regular-season games with one three-game multi-team event, resulting in 27 total games before postseason play.
“With all that we’ve been through the last eight months, we are beyond grateful to return to competition and begin the 2020-21 season,” UK head coach John Calipari said. “We don’t know exactly how this is all going to play out with the virus, but the health and safety of our players and our staff is going to be at the forefront of everything we do.
“I want to commend our staff for being on top of the schedule. When it became clear to us that we were going to have to make adjustments, our staff was all over it. I am really pleased that we not only preserved most of our previous agreements but also kept the type of opponents on our schedule that are going to challenge our guys and help them grow.”
Preserving the majority of games previously announced, the Wildcats will still feature nonconference matchups with the likes of Kansas, Louisville, Notre Dame, UCLA, Georgia Tech and Texas.
“This schedule will serve as a great test for our young team,” Calipari said. “We will have to learn to fail fast. Things will be a bit different in how we do things to stay safe, but we are going to make this as normal of an experience for our players and our fans as we can, and I’m confident what we’ve put together will prepare us to make a run at the end of the season. Like everyone else, I can’t wait to return to competition.”
No exhibition games or closed scrimmages will be allowed before Nov. 25, per the NCAA Division I Council, but UK announced Thursday it will host its annual Pro Day on Nov. 12 and Big Blue Madness on Nov. 20. Both will be done virtually in Memorial Coliseum with no fans and both will be televised by SEC Network.
The league has built-in make-up dates scheduled for March 5-7 in case games are postponed due to COVID-19 safety protocols.
Nov. 25 Morehead State
Nov. 27 Detroit Mercy
Nov. 29 Richmond
Dec. 1 vs. Kansas (site TBD)
Dec. 6 vs. Georgia Tech (at Atlanta)
Dec. 12 Notre Dame
Dec. 19 vs. UCLA (at Cleveland)
Dec. 26 at Louisville
Dec. 29 South Carolina
Jan. 2 at Mississippi State
Jan. 5 Vanderbilt
Jan. 9 at Florida
Jan. 12 Alabama
Jan. 16 at Auburn
Jan. 20 at Georgia
Jan. 23 LSU
Jan. 26 at Alabama
Jan. 30 Texas
Feb. 2 at Missouri
Feb. 6 Tennessee
Feb. 9 Arkansas
Feb. 13 Auburn
Feb. 17 at Vanderbilt
Feb. 20 at Tennessee
Feb. 23 Texas A&M
Feb. 27 Florida
March 2 at Ole Miss
March 10-14 SEC Tournament (at Nashville, Tenn.)
Tip times and television designations will be announced later.