Kentucky’s 2017-18 SEC opponents revealed

Kentucky has won the past three Southeastern Conference regular-season championships. If it’s to make it four in a row it will have to navigate a difficult conference slate.

The SEC announced the 2017-18 league schedule on Thursday morning, including home-and-away designations for each of the 14 schools in the league.

Prior to the 2015-16 season, the SEC announced a scheduling model where Kentucky’s three permanent home-and-away opponents are Florida, Tennessee and Vanderbilt, with two more home-and-away games scheduled on a rotating basis. Kentucky’s two other home-and-away opponents this season will be Missouri and Texas A&M.

Kentucky has won the SEC regular-season title each of the past three seasons and five times overall in Coach Cal’s eight years in the Bluegrass. (photo by Chet White, UK Athletics)

In addition to those 10 home-and-away games, Kentucky will play four teams only at home and four teams only on the road to make up its 18-game league slate. Kentucky’s four home-only games in SEC play will be against Alabama, Georgia, Ole Miss and Mississippi State. The Wildcats’ four road-only games will be at Arkansas, Auburn, LSU and South Carolina.

Times, dates and TV information will be announced at a later date.

As a conference, the SEC will enter the 2017-18 season riding a major wave of momentum earned by last season’s strong run in the NCAA Tournament in which it went 11-5 and had three teams advance to the Elite Eight and one to the Final Four. Additionally, the league will welcome 24 of ESPN’s top-100 ranked recruits to campus. SEC schools account for seven of ESPN’s top-30 recruiting classes in the country, including three of the top-seven classes.

Among the five SEC schools Kentucky will face twice this season, Florida is ranked in the top 10 in ESPN, CBS Sports and College Basketball Talk’s “way-too-early” top 25 rankings. Tennessee is coming off a promising second year under head coach Rick Barnes and Vanderbilt advanced to the NCAA Tournament during head coach Bryce Drew’s first season at the helm.

Kentucky will play Missouri both at Rupp Arena and at Mizzou Arena this season. (photo by Chet White, UK Athletics)

Missouri and new head coach Cuonzo Martin are welcoming in a top-10 recruiting class, highlighted by forward Michael Porter, Jr., the top-ranked high school prospect in the country by each of the four major recruiting services. ESPN ranked Missouri 25th in its “way-too-early” top 25. Texas A&M welcomes back rising sophomore forward Robert Williams, who was named the SEC Defensive Player of the Year last year by the league’s head coaches. The Aggies also return three promising juniors-to-be in center Tyler Davis, forward DJ Hogg and guard Admon Gilder. Yahoo! Sports ranked Texas A&M 19th in its “way-too-early” top 25.

Kentucky has swept the SEC regular-season and conference titles in each of the past three seasons, and has won five SEC regular-season championships and five SEC Tournament championships during Coach Cal’s eight seasons in the Bluegrass.

UK had previously announced six nonconference games, along with dates, for the upcoming season. Previously announced games include the Champions Classic game on Nov. 14 against Kansas at the United Center in Chicago. Kentucky will host Harvard on Dec. 2 and face Monmouth in the inaugural Citi Double Cash Classic one week later at Madison Square Garden in New York on Dec. 9. UK will host Virginia Tech one week after that in a one-year deal on Dec. 16. The Wildcats are scheduled to face UCLA on Dec. 23 at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans in the CBS Sports Classic. Kentucky’s opponent in this season’s Big 12/SEC Challenge is West Virginia. UK will play that game at WVU Coliseum in Morgantown, West Virginia, on Jan. 27.

Additional nonconference opponents, as well as a detailed SEC schedule will come at a later date.

2017-18 SEC Opponents

SEC Home Games SEC Away Games
Alabama Arkansas
Florida* Auburn
Georgia Florida*
Ole Miss LSU
Mississippi State Missouri^
Missouri^ South Carolina
Tennessee* Tennessee*
Texas A&M^ Texas A&M^
Vanderbilt* Vanderbilt*

* Permanent SEC home-and-away opponent
^ 2017-18 SEC home-and-away opponent

2017-18 Kentucky Nonconference Schedule

Date Opponent Location Arena Event
Nov. 14 Kansas Chicago United Center Champions Classic
Dec. 2 Harvard Lexington Rupp Arena  
Dec. 9 Monmouth New York Madison Square Garden Citi Double Cash Classic
Dec. 16 Virginia Tech Lexington Rupp Arena  
Dec. 23 UCLA New Orleans Smoothie King Center CBS Sports Classic
Jan. 27 West Virginia Morgantown, W.Va. WVU Coliseum Big 12/SEC Challenge