The wait is finally over! Kentucky Men's Basketball's long and slow roll out of the non-conference schedule has been completed with the full release of the 2022-23 schedule.
Following the preseason festivities of Big Blue Madness, the Blue-White game, and a pair of exhibition matches, Kentucky will get a pair of warm up games against Howard and Duquesne in Rupp Arena, a change from years past where the Champions Classic opened the season. However, the schedule quickly becomes very difficult as the following week, Kentucky will play Michigan State in Indianapolis, South Carolina State at home, and then Gonzaga in Spokane for a primetime game on ESPN Sunday night.
A couple things to note on the Gonzaga game:
This will be one day after Georgia comes to Kroger Field for a potential SEC East championship matchup. What a weekend that will be for the Big Blue Nation.
Gonzaga has the matchup listed as a "neutral site" matchup despite the game being hosted within a mile of Gonzaga's campus. It will be interesting to see how the NCAA Tournament selection committee views it.
Kentucky's non-conference schedule is rounded out by highlight games including Michigan in London, UCLA in Madison Square Garden, Louisville in Rupp Arena for Kenny Payne's homecoming, and Kansas in Rupp Arena for the SEC-Big 12 Challenge. Kentucky then goes to face a conference schedule which include playing Arkansas at home, Tennessee twice, and Auburn twice.
At no point is Kentucky's schedule easy. They will be put to the test almost every single week, but that also gives them many opportunities to prove themselves as national championship contenders and earn a 1 seed for both the SEC and NCAA tournaments. John Calipari very well may be crazy for putting up a schedule like the one we have, but it shows me that he has absolute confidence in his team to perform at the highest level.
Also, be on the lookout for games to be scheduled for future seasons as Coach Cal hinted at potential exciting series being added. Indiana? North Carolina? Duke? We will have to wait and see.