Calipari says 2019 will be a breakout year for returning players
For opponents in exhibition games going into the 2019-20 season, Kentucky plans to go local. Both opposing teams will travel less than 50 miles round-trip to play UK.
Kentucky will play Georgetown College on Oct. 27 and Kentucky State on Nov. 1. Those exhibition games, which will tip off at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., respectively, will be televised by the SEC Network, UK announced Thursday.
UK also filled out its preseason schedule by announcing that Big Blue Madness will be Oct. 11 (starting at 7 p.m.) and the annual Blue-White Game will be Oct. 18 (also starting at 7 p.m.).
Madness and the games will give UK fans a feel for the renovated Rupp Arena. Chair-back seating is being installed in the upper arena above both sidelines during this off-season. The new seating will reduce capacity from 23,500 to 20,500, UK officials have said.
Kentucky’s regular-season schedule will begin with a bang. UK opens the season against Michigan State in Madison Square Garden as part of the State Farm Champions Classic.
UK earlier announced regular-season games against Eastern Kentucky (Nov. 8), Evansville (No. 12) and two games in Las Vegas: against Utah on Dec. 18 and Ohio State on Dec. 21. The latter is part of the CBS Sports Classic.
Georgetown College won the 2019 NAIA Division I national championship. The Tigers are coached by Chris Briggs, who worked with UK’s program as a student manager (2001-04) and graduate assistant (2004-06). He is a two-time NAIA Coach of the Year.
Ticket information for the two exhibition games, the Blue-White Game and Big Blue Madness will be announced at a later date, UK said.
2019-20 UK basketball schedule
Games and events officially scheduled at this point (home games in all capital letters):
Oct. 11: BIG BLUE MADNESS, 7 p.m.
Oct. 18: BLUE-WHITE SCRIMMAGE, 7 p.m.
Oct. 27: GEORGETOWN COLLEGE, 5 p.m.-x
Nov. 1: KENTUCKY STATE, 7 p.m.-x
Nov. 5: Michigan State-1
Nov. 8: EASTERN KENTUCKY
Nov. 12: EVANSVILLE
Dec. 18: Utah-2
Dec. 21: Ohio State-3
1-Champions Classic at Madison Square Garden in New York; 2-At T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas; 3-CBS Sports Classic at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas; x-Exhibition game.