Updated: Sep 1, 2021
Kentucky has released their 2021-22 Non-Conference Schedule, consisting of nine games in Rupp Arena, two road trips and two neutral-site games.
The Wildcats are set to play 15 opponents outside of the SEC, including power-five programs such as Kansas, Ohio State and Duke. Hopefully you noticed how Louisville wasn't considered in that group. Eat it, Cards.
Oct 15: Big Blue Madness
Oct 22: Blue-White Game
Oct 29: vs Kentucky Wesleyan (Exhibition)
Nov 5: vs Miles College (Exhibition)
Nov 9: vs Duke (Madison Square Garden) Champions Classic
Nov 12: vs Robert Morris (Kentucky Classic)
Nov 16: vs Mount Saint Mary's (Kentucky Classic)
Nov 19: vs Ohio University (Kentucky Classic)
Nov 22: vs Albany
Nov 26: vs North Florida
Nov 29: vs Central Michigan (Tony Barbee return)
Dec 7: vs Southern (SWAC Unity Series)
Dec 11: at Notre Dame
Dec 18: vs Ohio State (CBS Sports Classic)
Dec 22: vs Louisville (L's Down)
Dec 31: vs High Point (Tubby's return)
Jan 29: at Kansas (Big12/SEC Challenge)
Kentucky took a different approach to announcing the NC schedule this year, and I can say it was infinitely better.
From UK's press release:
The nonconference schedule will give way to the typically difficult SEC slate. The league schedule has not been announced yet, but UK will play its permanent home-and-away opponents of Florida, Tennessee and Vanderbilt twice, plus host and visit Alabama and LSU. The Wildcats will face the remaining eight SEC opponents once.
The league has earned 21 berths in the last three NCAA Tournaments, tied for the second most in college basketball in that time period.
Five of UK's 13 nonconference opponents played in the 2021 NCAA Tournament, which does not include traditional powerhouses Duke, Louisville and Notre Dame, all of whom are expected to bounce back for the 2021-22 season. In the latest ESPN preseason poll – which the Wildcats make an appearance at No. 8 – three of Kentucky's 2021-22 nonconference foes make an appearance, plus four league opponents.