The University of Kentucky Wildcats basketball program has finalized its schedule for the upcoming 2021-2022 college basketball season.
After the non-conference schedule was released recently , it was just a matter of time before John Calipari and the UK Athletics Department made an official announcement confirming the news.
After the pandemic debacle last year, the Cats will resume a full regular-season schedule that features two exhibition, 13 non-conference matchups, and 18 SEC games.
If you ask me, the most notable game on Kentucky’s schedule is right out of the gate against the Duke Blue Devils on November 9th in the Champions Classic.
The atmosphere to kickoff Coach K’s farewell tour season inside Madison Square Garden will be electric. If Calipari’s team can come out and shine under the bright lights in their first action, it will energize a fan base who suffered through a 9-16 train wreck of a season last year.
First order of business — Beat Duke.
After that blockbuster opening game against Duke there are several other marquee non-conference games on this year’s schedule — including the Ohio State Buckeyes on December 18th in the CBS Sports Classic, then six weeks later, a road-trip to Lawrence on January 29th when the Cats will take on the Kansas Jayhawks in the SEC/Big 12 challenge. You might want to savor this year’s challenge, because it could be going away with the Texas Longhorns and Oklahoma Sooners set to join the SEC in the coming years.
The SEC will feature a full slate of 18 games with Kentucky playing each school once. Like in previous years, UK will play the Florida Gators, Vanderbilt Commodores and Tennessee Volunteers twice, both home and away. The LSU Tigers and Alabama Crimson Tide are the two other opponents that will face the Cats two times.
By far my biggest gripe in terms of the schedule is the Louisville game being played on December 22nd — A Wednesday.
I know this isn’t the first time the game being the week of Christmas has caused it to be moved to a weekday, but it doesn’t make it right. A rivalry of this magnitude should demand a Saturday slot.
Well, that’s it — John Calipari’s Wildcats know all of their opponents and will begin preparing in practice in several weeks.