ICYMI: Breaking Down the Kentucky Wildcats Out of Conference Schedule

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Yesterday, the Kentucky Wildcats basketball program released their out of conference schedule for the 2015-16 season.  As we have become accustomed to, it is one of the toughest schedules in the nation, but that is what John Calipari does.  This years slate may be one of the best that John Calipari has put together at Kentucky with games against defending champion Duke, Louisville, and a game at Kansas.  The UKAA sent out a press release yesterday breaking it down and you can see for yourself.

"LEXINGTON, Ky. – Seventh-year head coach John Calipari demands the gold standard in every aspect of the Kentucky men’s basketball program. The Wildcats’ 2015-16 schedule will once again meet that demand as Calipari announced a 13-game non-conference schedule on Thursday that features 10 games against teams who advanced to the postseason a season ago. That list includes national champion Duke in the third game of the season at the Champions Classic in the United Center in Chicago on Nov. 17. In all, the Wildcats will take on six NCAA Tournament squads, two NIT participants and two teams that advanced to at least the quarterfinals of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament. The average final RPI of the teams comes in at 105, with five teams in the all-important top 50 of the RPI. “Putting a schedule together, especially one like this, is fun,” Calipari said. “Having to play those games is a different story. To understate it, this will obviously be a challenging schedule for a young team like ours, which lost more than 85 percent of its scoring and nearly 80 percent of its rebounding. We’re excited for the challenge.” In addition to Duke, the Wildcats will also take on powerhouses such as UCLA, Ohio State, Kansas and the annual rivalry game with Louisville. Along the way, UK will make marquee stops in the aforementioned United Center, Brooklyn at the Barclays Center, and Miami in the Heat’s American Airlines Arena. Furthermore, the schedule features road trips to storied buildings such as Kansas’ Allen Fieldhouse and the first-ever meeting against the Bruins in Pauley Pavilion. The schedule includes eight home games highlighted by dates with Louisville and Arizona State. The Sun Devils and newly hired head coach Bobby Hurley, who directed his former team Buffalo to one of the more exciting games against the Cats in 2014, will come to town on Dec. 12. The matchup with the Sun Devils begins a three-week stretch against power five conference opponents, followed by Ohio State in Brooklyn on Dec. 19 and the annual matchup with Louisville on Dec. 26 in Rupp Arena in a series in which the Cats have taken six of the last seven meetings. The season kicks off with home games on back-to-back days for the first time since Dec. 6-7, 2008. UK will open the year against America East champion Albany on Nov. 13 before hosting NJIT the following day. The Highlanders are a CollegeInsider.com semifinalist and a team that upset Michigan in Ann Arbor a season ago. The Wildcats will venture to Chicago for the Duke contest before returning home to host Wright State (Nov. 20) and Boston (Nov. 24) for the second consecutive season. A matchup with Illinois State concludes the month of November, while UK will have three home games in the month of December beginning with the second consecutive meeting against EKU on Dec. 9. UK’s 2015 Southeastern Conference schedule will feature nine home games and nine away games, which will be announced at a later date. It’s the fourth straight year the SEC will feature an 18-game schedule. Big Blue Madness, the Blue-White Scrimmage, exhibition contests, and complete game times and TV information will be released at a later date."

Next: Team by team breakdown per the UKAA