The University of Kentucky men’s basketball team is headed to Madison Square Garden for the second year in a row.
The Wildcats will take on Monmouth University in the inaugural Citi Double Cash Classic in New York City’s famed arena on Saturday, Dec. 9.
The teams will meet again during the 2018-2019 season in Rupp Arena, Monmouth announced Tuesday.
The 2017 game will be the first-ever meeting between Kentucky and Monmouth. Per the contract between the schools, Kentucky will pay Monmouth $90,000 for each game.
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Last season, Kentucky defeated Michigan State in Madison Square Garden in the Champions Classic.
Monmouth, coached by former North Carolina point guard King Rice, has won the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference regular-season title the past two years. The Hawks, 27-7 last season, return All-MAAC first-team selection Micah Seaborn and MAAC Sixth Man of the Year Austin Tilghman among 10 returning players. Monmouth was defeated by Ole Miss, 91-83, in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament.
“I’m very excited to have the opportunity to play against Kentucky for the next two years, and I’ve looked up to Coach Calipari for a long time,” Rice said in Monmouth’s news release. “I’ve always liked Kentucky, going back from when I was a kid and they were recruiting me. I’ve always had the utmost respect for Coach Calipari, and when we had the chance to play it shows how much he valued our friendship. It’s an honor for me and our program to play against Kentucky.”
The Monmouth matchup joins a handful of previously announced dates on the 2017-18 UK schedule.
Kentucky will play Kansas on Nov. 14 at the Champions Classic in Chicago. Harvard will visit Rupp Arena for the first time on Dec. 2. The Wildcats will take on UCLA on Dec. 23 at the CBS Sports Classic in New Orleans.