The program released its non-conference opponents on Thursday, an impressive list of foes that will include defending national champion Duke, as well as traditional powers like Louisville, UCLA, Kansas and Ohio State.
Ten teams on the slate advanced to postseason play this year, including six NCAA Tournament squads.
“Putting a schedule together, especially one like this, is fun,” UK coach John Calipari said in a statement released by the program. “Having to play those games is a different story. To understate it, this will obviously be a challenging schedule for a young team like ours, which lost more than 85 percent of its scoring and nearly 80 percent of its rebounding. We’re excited for the challenge.”
The Cats will face Duke in the third game of the season on Nov. 17 in the Champions Classic at the United Center in Chicago. Other high-profile venues included on the schedule are the Barclays Center in Brooklyn (Dec. 19 vs. Ohio State) and American Airlines Arena in Miami (Nov. 27 vs. South Florida and former UK assistant Orlando Antigua), while UK will make much-anticipated trips to Kansas' Allen Fieldhouse on Jan. 30 for the Big 12-SEC Challenge and to UCLA's Pauley Pavilion on Dec. 3, the first ever meeting between the Cats and Bruins in the iconic arena.
Key home dates at Rupp Arena include Eastern Kentucky (Dec. 9), Arizona State (Dec. 12) and arch-rival Louisville on Dec. 26.
The SEC's 18-game schedule will be announced at a later date.
UK 2015-16 NON-CONFERENCE SCHEDULE:
13 (Fri) 1 ALBANY
14 (Sat) 1 NJIT
17 (Tues) 2 vs. Duke
20 (Fri) WRIGHT STATE
24 (Tues) 1 BOSTON
27 (Fri) 3 vs. South Florida
30 (Mon) ILLINOIS STATE
3 (Thurs) at UCLA
9 (Wed) EASTERN KENTUCKY
12 (Sat) ARIZONA STATE
19 (Sat) 4 vs. Ohio State
26 (Sat) LOUISVILLE
30 (Sat) 5 at Kansas
9-13 (We-Su) 6 SEC Tournament [SEC NETWORK/ESPN]
HOME GAMES in BOLD CAPS
All dates are subject to change.
1--Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Classic (Rupp Arena, Lexington, Ky.);
2--Champions Classic (United Center, Chicago);
3--Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Classic (American Airlines Arena, Miami);
4--CBS Sports Classic (Barclays Center, Brooklyn, N.Y.); 5--Big 12/SEC Challenge (Allen Fieldhouse, Lawrence, Kan.);
6--SEC Tournament (Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tenn.)