The defending national champions are coming to Rupp Arena. On January 28, the Kentucky Wildcats hill host fellow blue blood rival, the Kansas Jayhawks, in the 2023 SEC/Big 12 Challenge.
There is little doubt that the Jayhawks will be coming into Lexington with extra motivation, as last season, Kentucky handed them on their worst losses in the history of Allen Fieldhouse, an 80-62 blowout. It was a game where we saw Keion Brooks Jr drop a career high 27 points, Oscar Tshiebwe take full control of the National Player of the Year race over Kansas's Ochai Agbaji, and a true look at what last year's team could accomplish fully healthy.
The game this season could serve a very similar purpose. You need to be able to play against the best to find out who you truly are as a team. If Kentucky can once again come away with a victory against one of the best teams in college basketball, that could carry some serious positive momentum heading in to the last two months of the season.
This will mark the eighth season out of the past nine that Kentucky and Kansas will square off, five of such game coming in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge with the remaining three being played in the Champions Classic. However, this will be just the third that is played inside Rupp Arena. For those who complain about too many neutral site games weakening the home schedule for season ticket holders - myself included - it is great to have this game on home turf. Kansas will join Louisville and Bellarmine as the other opponents officially announced to be coming to Rupp this season. With the SEC poised the be loaded at the top again, Kentucky should have no shortage of opportunities to get quality wins to play their way into a top seed in March.