For most of the United States, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's are a year's main holidays.
In Kentucky, the four main "holidays" are Selection Sunday, Big Blue Madness, Early National Signing Day, and the official start of each college basketball season.
On Opening Day, 2011, here are 50 things to get your heart pumping about college basketball in Kentucky.
50. Dec. 3: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist vs. Harrison Barnes.
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49. Big East: What might (or might not) be our final year to watch Louisville play hoops in the vintage version of what has been the best basketball conference.
48. Not Victoria Dunlap. Seeing whether there is life (and winning) for UK women's basketball without the graduated star.
47. Kyle Wiltjer bringing the hook shot back (and making Cliff Hagan smile in the process).
46. Nov. 15: UK-KU in MSG
45. Nov. 15: U of L women in College Station opposite defending NCAA champion Texas A&M
44. Shaka Smart. The rising coaching star will be in Kentucky when Virginia Commonwealth visits Western Kentucky Nov. 23.
43. Crazy suits. Can Morehead State women's coach Tom Hodges actually dress wilder this year than he did a season ago? Is that even possible?
42. Big shoes. All the youthful, new Georgetown College head man Chris Briggs has to do is replace a coach who went 456-84.
41. Darius Miller. Can the ex-Mason County star add an NCAA title to the Mr. Basketball award and state championship he claimed in high school? If so, he would become the first ever to hit that "triple" while playing at UK.
40. Dec. 3: Terrence Jones vs. John Henson
39. Kentucky boys. Can home-grown high school stars Timmy Knipp (Elliott County) and Robbie Stenzel (Clark County) make an impact at Eastern Kentucky as freshmen?
38. Watch the sideline, not the court: When Morehead State's Donnie Tyndall faces off against West Virginia's Bob Huggins (Nov. 22), the coaches may be a better show than the game.
37. Chane Behanan. Putting the bounce and the burly back into Louisville's inside play (and making Rodney McCray smile in the process).
36. Marquis Teague. Has to prove a worthy inheritor to a point-guard line that goes Knight, Wall, Evans, Rose.
35. Shoni Schimmel. In the Louisville guard, it's entirely possible that the most charismatic college basketball player in Kentucky is female.
34. Derrick Gordon and George Fant. Can the prized WKU freshmen play well enough to validate the Western men's basketball "re-set?"
33. Isaiah Cannon. Now a junior, can the talented Murray State guard emerge as a full-fledged star?
32. Doron Lamb and Terrence Jones. Can the two Kentucky sophomores be part of a hoops trend that replaces the allure of one-and-done with the benefits of "two-before you-are-through?"
31. Trevor Setty. Can the ex-Mason County star recapture the magic he had last season when he earned MVP honors while leading Pike-ville to the NAIA Division I national title?
30. Dec. 3: Anthony Davis vs. Tyler Zeller.
29. Old times renewed. When Josh Pastner and Memphis invade the KFC Yum Center to face Louisville (Dec. 17), it rekindles a crackling rivalry that had fallen dormant.
28. Samarie Walker. The much-anticipated debut of the transfer from Connecticut for the UK women is slated for Dec. 18 in South Bend against defending NCAA runner-up Notre Dame.
27. Chance to boo Duke in Rupp. OK, it's the Duke women — not Mike Krzyzewski and Co. — who face Matthew Mitchell and UK Hoops in Rupp Arena (Dec. 8). But the principle is still the same, right?
26. Chance to boo Knight in Rupp. OK, it's Pat Knight — not his father, the frequent Kentucky critic Bob Knight — who will bring Lamar into Rupp Arena (Dec. 28) to face the UK men. But the principle is still the same, right?
25. Sara Hammond. The reigning Kentucky Miss Basketball, a McDonald's All-American, will play for Louisville.
24. Bria Goss. The reigning Indiana Miss Basketball, a McDonald's All-American, will play for Kentucky.
23. Kentucky boys II. Ex-Scott County High School stars are getting second chances all around Kentucky — Richie Phares transferred from U of L to Bellarmine; Chad Jackson from James Madison to Northern Kentucky; and Dakotah Euton from Akron to Asbury.
22. Ricky P. vs. Cal. Mutual loathing does make for an entertaining coaching rivalry, but hopefully the basketball between Cards and Cats on New Year's Eve in Rupp won't be as chippy as it was two years ago.
21. Spend New Year's Eve with Isiah Thomas: The ex-NBA great turned Florida International head coach brings his team to Diddle Arena to face Western Dec. 31.
20. Dec. 3: Marquis Teague vs. Kendall Marshall.
19. A'dia Mathies. With Victoria Dunlap graduated, can the gifted UK junior guard emerge as a full-fledged star?
18. Cheering Pat Summitt. The iconic coach of the Lady Vols, who announced in the summer she is suffering from early-onset dementia, will bring Tennessee to Memorial Coliseum Jan. 12. Just in case this is her final trip here to coach against UK, it would be a good time to give her a standing O.
17. Booing Geno Auriemma. The polarizing UConn women's coach will have his team in the KFC Yum Center Feb. 7. Just in case, with the uncertainty that grips the Big East, this is his final trip here to coach against U of L, it would be a good time to give him a hearty boo. Just for the fun of it.
16. Thunder over Louisville. There may not be a more keenly contested college hoops game in the Derby City this season than when Northern Kentucky, which just beat West Virginia in an exhibition, visits defending NCAA Division II champion Bellarmine Jan. 16.
15. Peyton Siva. As a junior, can the dynamic Louisville point guard emerge as a full-fledged star?
14. High school reunion. Facing a crucial season in her coaching career, WKU women's coach Mary Taylor Cowles hired longtime Kentucky boys' high school coaches Tim Riley and Curtis Turley to her staff.
13. Eloy Vargas. Any chance the Kentucky reserve big man "does the Josh Harrellson" as a senior?
12. 'Happy' returns. In his new role as an assistant at Tennessee Tech, longime Georgetown College head man Happy Osborne will be back in Central Kentucky when the Golden Eagles visit EKU on Jan. 26.
11. Making dad proud. EKU women's star Alex Jones — the daughter of former Louisville and NBA big man Charles Jones — should be a viable candidate to win OVC Player of the Year as a junior.
10. Dec. 3: Kentucky vs. North Carolina in a game so anticipated it may allow ticket scalpers to buy summer homes in Longboat Key.
9. Anthony Hickey. After leading Christian County to the 2011 boys' state title and earning Mr. Basketball, the little point guard signed with LSU. He'll try to "get his Chris Lofton on" when UK visits Baton Rouge Feb. 5.
8. The champs hit Louisville. Jim Calhoun will bring the defending NCAA champion UConn Huskies into the KFC Yum Center Feb. 6.
7. John Pelphrey. We look in on an old friend when the redhead, back with Billy Donovan as an assistant at Florida, visits Rupp Arena with the Gators Feb. 7.
6. New School vs. Old School. Kentucky figures to have six freshmen and sophomores in its top seven players when it travels to Nashville to face a Vanderbilt whose best players are all juniors and seniors in the first of two matchups between the SEC's most touted teams.
5. Gorgui Dieng. By late February, how far will the game of the rapidly developing U of L big man have progressed?
4. Jim Boeheim. With Syracuse soon headed for the ACC, how many times after this year (Feb. 13) will we see the venerable Orange head man in Louisville?
3. Amber's Senior Day. Amber Smith, the gutty little point guard who both energized the turnaround of UK women's basketball and came back twice from torn ACLs, plays her final college game in Lexington Feb. 23 against South Carolina.
2. Darius' Senior Day. When Darius Miller runs through the hoop in Rupp (March 1 vs. Georgia), it will be a current-era rarity at Kentucky: A good player completing his eligibility.
1. Dec. 3 deja vu in April. It would be hard to beat a college basketball season that ended with the first-ever NCAA championship game meeting between hoops blue bloods Kentucky and North Carolina.