Scout.com/Jeff Drummond

Kentucky Wildcats' full non-conference basketball schedule for 2017-18 revealed

Kentucky-Louisville clash set for Friday, Dec. 29.

Once again, Kentucky will face one of the most challenging non-conference schedules in the nation during the 2017-18 college basketball season.

The Wildcats unveiled their full non-conference slate on Tuesday, a group of opponents that includes eight teams that made the 2017 NCAA Tournament. Five of those finished the season with an RPI in the Top 50, and three advanced to the Sweet 16 or further.

Marquee games include a Nov. 14 matchup with Kansas in the Champions Classic at the United Center in Chicago, a Dec. 23 clash with UCLA at the CBS Sports Classic in New Orleans, a Dec. 29 showdown with rival Louisville at the Yum Center, and a Jan. 27 trip to Morgantown, W.Va., to face the Mountaineers. 

Kentucky will also play once again in New York City, facing Monmouth on Dec. 9 in Madison Square Garden as a part of the inaugural Citi Double Cash Classic.

The Cats will open the regular season on Nov. 10 against Utah Valley, coached by former UK standout Mark Pope. Two days later, they'll be back at Rupp Arena to face Vermont. 

The Adolph Rupp Classic will bring East Tennessee State, Troy, Fort Wayne and UIC to Lexington in a homestand spanning Nov. 17-26. Harvard will visit Rupp Arena on Dec. 2 led by five-time Ivy League Coach of the Year Tommy Amaker.

An intriguing ACC matchup looms on Dec. 16 as Buzz Williams' Virginia Tech squad comes to Rupp.

The non-conference foes had a combined winning percentage of .701 last season.

After losing eight players from last year's Elite Eight squad, UK will be one of the youngest in college basketball history, but the Cats have reloaded with yet another No. 1 national recruiting class. Calipari will be tasked with replacing 93 percent of his scoring and 77 percent of his rebounding from last year's team.

“We are going to have what could be the youngest team in the history of college basketball,” Calipari said in a statement released by UK. “We had to take that into account when building this year’s schedule. How do we prepare our guys to be at our best at the end of the season – which we’ve done nearly every year – while also putting them in a position to grow and succeed? I think we’ve done that with this schedule.

"When you look at who we will play, you’re talking about experienced teams that were in the postseason a year ago and bring back the core of their teams. This schedule is going to be a challenge for us, but my hope is it sets us up for a run at the end of the season.”

The complete schedule, along with game times and broadcast designations, will be announced at a later date.

 

 


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