UK Men's Basketball

Where does Kentucky have the toughest time winning in the SEC?

Kentucky is 54-50 all-time in Knoxville, including 16-13 in Tennessee’s current venue, Thompson-Boling Arena. Kentucky plays at Tennessee on Saturday night.
Kentucky is 54-50 all-time in Knoxville, including 16-13 in Tennessee’s current venue, Thompson-Boling Arena. Kentucky plays at Tennessee on Saturday night. AP

Four of Kentucky’s first five Southeastern Conference games this season are being played on the road.

The Wildcats passed their first SEC road test Wednesday night, defeating LSU 74-71 in Baton Rouge, La.

Round 2 comes Saturday night when 17th-ranked UK travels to Knoxville to take on 23rd-ranked Tennessee.

Longtime Big Blue fans know that a trip to Rocky Top is always a test, but how hard is it, exactly?

Kentucky has played 104 games in Knoxville and won 54 of them, a winning percentage of .519. The only SEC stop that has been harder on the Cats has been Fayetteville, Ark., where UK is 7-7 (.500) at the home of the Razorbacks.

Tennessee’s body of work stands a test of time dating to 1915, when the Volunteers showed Kentucky what it was in for by winning the schools’ first-ever meeting in Knoxville, 36-21. Arkansas did not begin playing Kentucky regularly until the Razorbacks joined the SEC in 1992.

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Click here to view Kentucky’s 2017-18 basketball schedule

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Traveling to Knoxville is no easier now than it ever was for the Wildcats. Kentucky has lost in its two most recent visits and is 3-4 there since John Calipari became head coach. The only other SEC venue in which Calipari has a losing record for Kentucky is — you guessed it — Arkansas (1-3).

Kentucky is 16-13 in Knoxville since Tennessee began playing in Thompson-Boling Arena in 1987. It’s big. It’s orange. It’s loud. And there’s something about it that never sits quite right with Kentucky.

The Cats and Vols tip off Saturday at 9 p.m. The game will be televised on the SEC Network.

Kentucky on the SEC road

Here is Kentucky’s record all-time on the home floor of every current Southeastern Conference team, along with John Calipari’s UK record at each school. Opponents are listed from toughest to easiest:

Opponent

UK’s record

UK’s winning pct.

Calipari’s record

Arkansas

7-7

.500

1-3

Tennessee

54-50

.519

3-4

Alabama

31-23

.574

3-2

Florida

35-25

.583

4-4

LSU

31-18

.633

4-2

Vanderbilt

56-29

.659

5-3

Auburn

30-14

.682

4-1

Georgia

42-17

.712

4-2

Mississippi

28-10

.737

3-1

South Carolina

20-7

.741

4-2

Mississippi State

35-12

.745

5-0

Texas A&M

3-1

.750

3-1

Missouri

3-0

1.000

3-0

Totals

374-213

.637

45-25

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