Kentucky Wesleyan to play UK in Rupp

Sources close to the Kentucky Wesleyan program have confirmed that the University of Kentucky and the Division 2 powerhouse will play an exhibition basketball game in Rupp Arena in November.

The contract has reportedly been in the works for several weeks now since a new NCAA rule came into effect outlawing collegiate schools from scheduling exhibition games against non-collegiate schools, such as Nike Elite and Team Nike.

The idea is to help support the smaller universities and colleges across the country.

Such is the case for Kentucky Wesleyan, a small college in Owensboro (KY), that is the home of just around 700 students.

A long-time friend of Tubby Smith, Kentucky Wesleyan's head coach Ray Harper had long been rumored to be the leading candidate to take on the Cats in pre-season action.

The legendary program has mirrored the University of Kentucky's success in Division 2 basketball. The Panthers have won 8 national championships and have appeared in 18 Final Fours. Through a stretch that could compare to UK's dominating prescense from 96-98, the Kentucky Wesleyan basketball team appeared in 5 straight national championship games from 98-02.

His team fell victim to the upset bug this past year, however, as their amazing streak came to an end with a shocking first round loss to Southern Indiana.

Kentucky Wesleyan will lose just four players from last year's team that finished 22-8 and return leading scorer Dante Truitt (19.8 ppg).

An official announcement will happen sometime in the near future. Stay tuned to Inside Kentucky for any new information.

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