The University of Kentucky baseball team announced a challenging 2013 schedule Tuesday that includes 31 games against teams that took part in last season's NCAA Tournament.
The 56-game schedule features 30 Southeastern Conference games and home-and-home matchups against in-state rivals Louisville and Western Kentucky. There are 33 home games on the schedule.
"After taking a big step forward in 2012, we are looking forward to continuing the progress in 2013," fifth-year Kentucky Coach Gary Henderson said in a news release.
Within the SEC, Kentucky will play three series against teams that made it to last season's College World Series: Arkansas, Florida and South Carolina.
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Kentucky's opponents posted a combined record of 910-747 last season.
The Wildcats open the season Feb. 15-17 with three games in South Carolina — against UNC Asheville, USC Upstate and Niagara.
Kentucky's home opener is Feb. 26 against Murray State, kicking off a 12-game home stand at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
The Cats open SEC play March 15-17 at Florida. UK will also face SEC foes LSU, South Carolina, Mississippi and Missouri on the road.
UK plays SEC home series against Mississippi State, Georgia, Tennessee, Arkansas and Vanderbilt.
"Playing in the SEC is the greatest challenge in college baseball," Henderson said. "There are no off weekends; every day is an absolute grind. ... and our guys will be ready for the challenge."
The Cats visit Louisville on April 2 and host the Cardinals on April 16. UK hosts WKU on March 19 and travels to the Hilltoppers on April 23.
Kentucky returns a large portion of the team that won a school-record 45 games last season and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.