Kentucky adds home game as non-conference schedule continues to take shape

Kentucky men’s basketball made another Rupp Arena opponent for the upcoming season official on Thursday.

The Cats will host Utah on Dec. 15, locking in six non-conference dates, so far, for 2018-19.

The deal with the Utes is a two-game contract that also will see UK play Utah in Las Vegas on Dec. 18, 2019, ahead of a previously scheduled date with Ohio State in Vegas on Dec. 21, 2019.

“We are always trying to put together a schedule that our fans will enjoy while preparing us to be at our best at the end of the season,” UK Coach John Calipari said in a press release. “One of the things I hear most about from our fans is they enjoy traveling with us and staying at a destination location for multiple games. That was our goal in scheduling this game with Utah. It gives us a great opponent for our fans at home next season, and then in 2019, our fans can spend a week with us at one of our favorite stops over the last few years. I still get people who come up to me and tell me about how much fun they had in 2016 when we played North Carolina.”

The Wildcats previously announced they would open the upcoming season against Duke at the Champions Classic in Indianapolis on Nov. 6. UK has not played the Blue Devils since 2015, an early season 74-63 win for the Cats.

Kentucky collides with North Carolina in the CBS Sports Classic on Dec. 22 in Chicago. The Wildcats and Tar Heels will meet for the first time since UNC’s 75-73 victory over Kentucky in the Elite Eight of the 2017 NCAA Tournament in Memphis.

UK also has confirmed it will play in Madison Square Garden again this year with Seton Hall as its opponent on Dec. 8.

A date has not yet been set for Kentucky’s annual game against Louisville, to be held this year in the KFC Yum Center. Another non-conference game is planned as part of the SEC/Big 12 Challenge, but a time and opponent for that event has not been set.

Kentucky and Utah have not met since 2005, a 62-52 UK win over the Utes in the NCAA Tournament. Kentucky is 9-2 all-time versus Utah, including the 1998 NCAA championship game.

Utah played in the NIT last season and finished with a 23-12 record.

UK preseason

  • Aug. 8-12 – Big Blue Bahamas Tour | Atlantis Imperial Arena | Atlantis, Paradise Island, Bahamas
  • TBA — Big Blue Madness

UK regular season non-conference games

  • Nov. 16: Duke at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis (State Farm Champions Classic)
  • Nov. 28: Monmouth at Rupp Arena
  • Dec. 1: UNCG at Rupp Arena
  • Dec. 8: Seton Hall at Madison Square Garden, New York (Citi Hoops Classic)
  • Dec. 15: Utah at Rupp Arena
  • Dec. 22: North Carolina at United Center, Chicago (CBS Sports Classic)

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