UK Releases 2004-2005 Basketball Schedule

Kentucky's men's basketball team, which has won a nation-leading 59 games over the last two seasons despite playing stiff competition, once again takes on a very competitive schedule in 2004-05, the school announced Saturday. The Wildcats, the winningest program in college basketball, face eight 2004 NCAA Tournament teams and the second and third-winningest teams of all-time as Kansas and North Carolina appear on the non-conference schedule.

"It's certainly a challenging schedule," Head Coach Tubby Smith said. "When you play Kansas, North Carolina, Indiana and Louisville in non-conference, then turn around and line up against the SEC, it will test your basketball team."

The Cats play 15 of their 27 regular-season games at Rupp Arena, up from 13 last year. UK averaged 22,710 in attendance at Rupp in 2003-04, and its loyal fans from across the Commonwealth and beyond have led the nation in average attendance each of the last nine seasons.

With new rules allowing teams to play non-division I schools during exhibition play, the Wildcats open the schedule against Kentucky Wesleyan and Northern Kentucky before regular-season play gets underway versus Coppin State in Rupp Arena on Nov. 20. The Wildcats then make their annual trip to Cincinnati's U.S. Bank Arena on Nov. 23 to face Ball State.

A home game with Georgia State over Thanksgiving weekend follows before former UK assistant Mike Sutton brings his Tennessee Tech squad back to Rupp for a second consecutive season on Nov. 30. The Cats head to Tobacco Road to open the December portion of the schedule, facing North Carolina in the Dean Dome on Dec. 4 to open CBS' college basketball coverage.

Former Kentucky All-American Kyle Macy brings his Morehead State team to Rupp Arena on Dec. 8 for the first time in three years. UK then heads to Louisville's Freedom Hall on back-to-back Saturdays – first to host Indiana on Dec. 11 and then to take on in-state rival Louisville on Dec. 18. A home game with William & Mary follows on Dec. 22, before the Cats take a week off for the holidays.

UK closes out 2004 with a Dec. 29 battle against Campbell and enjoys another week-long break before hosting South Carolina in the SEC opener on Jan. 5. Kentucky closes out non-conference play with the highly-anticipated matchup against Kansas, the first game in a two-year home-and-home series.

Kentucky resumes league play when Vanderbilt visits Lexington on Jan. 12. The 2005 SEC schedule features road games at Ole Miss, Arkansas and Alabama, as well as the tough Eastern Division opponents. Senior Day in Lexington features rival Tennessee on March 2.

UK appears on national television 12 times (seven CBS, five ESPN), including four times during non-conference action. Finalized television assignments and tip times for all SEC games are expected to be released soon.

The Wildcats, who return two starters and boast the nation's top recruiting class, open practice with Big Blue Madness on Friday, Oct. 15.

Schedule at a Glance


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