The University of Kentucky’s 2016-17 men’s basketball schedule came into focus Tuesday when the Southeastern Conference announced its complete lineup of games.
Times and TV networks are still to be determined for a handful of games, but the dates and opponents are all set.
Kentucky will tip off its 18-game conference schedule Dec. 29 at Mississippi. That marks the first time since 1987-88 that SEC play will begin before Jan. 1.
In another unique twist, all of UK’s conference games will be played on Tuesdays and Saturdays with the exception of the opener against Ole Miss, which is on a Thursday.
UK also locked in game times for several non-conference contests on Tuesday, most notably the Wildcats’ annual rivalry game at Louisville on Dec. 21, which will start at 7 p.m.
In the SEC, Kentucky will play home and away games against Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt. Also coming to Rupp Arena will be Arkansas, Auburn, LSU and South Carolina. The Wildcats will also visit Alabama, Mississippi, Mississippi State and Missouri.
Kentucky’s Senior Night, this season recognizing Dominique Hawkins, Mychal Mulder and Derek Willis, is set for Feb. 28, a 9 p.m. tip-off against Vanderbilt.
The Cats’ regular-season finale is March 4 at Texas A&M, a noon EDT start that will begin at 11 a.m. College Station time.
In addition to the game at Louisville, Kentucky announced start times Tuesday for several of its non-conference games.
On Nov. 15, UK will take on Michigan State at 7 p.m. in the Champions Classic at New York’s Madison Square Garden. The Nov. 28 game against Arizona State in the Bahamas also begins at 7. Kentucky’s Dec. 3 game against UCLA in Rupp Arena is a 12:30 p.m. tip-off. Its game Dec. 11 against Hofstra at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., starts at 3 p.m. The Dec. 17 contest against North Carolina at the CBS Sports Classic in Las Vegas will tip at 5:45 p.m.
2016-17 UK basketball schedule
(Home games in capital letters)
Oct. 14: BIG BLUE MADNESS, 7 p.m. (SEC Network)
Oct. 21: BLUE-WHITE GAME, 7 p.m. (SEC Network)
Oct. 30: a-CLARION, 7 p.m. (SEC Network)
Nov. 6: a-ASBURY, 7 p.m. (SEC Network)
Nov. 11: STEPHEN F. AUSTIN
Nov. 13: b-CANISIUS
Nov. 15: c-Michigan State, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
Nov. 20: b-DUQUESNE
Nov. 23: b-CLEVELAND STATE
Nov. 25: b-TENNESSEE-MARTIN
Nov. 28: d-Arizona State, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
Dec. 3: UCLA, 12:30 p.m. (CBS)
Dec. 7: VALPARAISO
Dec. 11: e-Hofstra, 3 p.m. (ESPN)
Dec. 17: f-North Carolina, 5:45 p.m. (CBS)
Dec. 21: at Louisville, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
Dec. 29: at Ole Miss, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
Jan. 3: TEXAS A&M, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
Jan. 7: ARKANSAS, 8:30 p.m. (SEC Network)
Jan. 10: at Vanderbilt, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
Jan. 14: AUBURN, 4 p.m. (ESPN or ESPN2)
Jan. 17: at Mississippi State, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
Jan. 21: SOUTH CAROLINA, 4-8 p.m. (ESPN or ESPN2)
Jan. 24: at Tennessee, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
Jan. 28: g-KANSAS, 6 p.m. (ESPN)
Jan. 31: GEORGIA, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
Feb. 4: at Florida, 2-8 p.m. (ESPN or ESPN2)
Feb. 7: LSU, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
Feb. 11: at Alabama, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Feb. 14: TENNESSEE, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
Feb. 18: at Georgia, 4-8 p.m. (ESPN or ESPN2)
Feb. 21: at Missouri, 9 p.m. (SEC Network)
Feb. 25: FLORIDA, 2 p.m. (CBS)
Feb. 28: VANDERBILT, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
March 4: at Texas A&M, noon (CBS)
March 8-12: h-SEC Tournament (SEC Network and ESPN)
a-Exhibition; b-Bluegrass Showcase; c-Champions Classic (Madison Square Garden in New York); d-Atlantis Showcase (Atlantis Resort in Nassau, Bahamas); e-Brooklyn Hoops Winter Festival (Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.); f-CBS Sports Classic (T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas); g-SEC/Big 12 Challenge; h-At Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.