2024-25 UK Basketball Schedule; An Early Look, SEC Opponents Set

2024-25 UK Basketball Schedule

The 2024-25 UK Basketball schedule will not get set until September to early October 2024. That doesn’t mean we can’t take a look at the games we know that will take place this season for our planning. Whether you are going to try to go to the game or watch on TV, that’s always one of my favorite things to do this time of year. Especially once we get through the NBA Play-In games and kick off the long-NBA Playoff season. 

What 2024-25 UK Basketball Schedule Games are Set? 

Maui Classic? 

We’ll start with the non-conference slate for the 2024-25 UK basketball schedule. During his introductory press conference, Coach Pope was asked about going back to Maui. He definitely seems like a big fan. The 2024 Maui Invitational slate is set, so we’ll have to see how coach tailors the future schedules and the pros and cons of dropping any of the neutral site games that are set for a few years. *Update. The Maui Classic confirmed the teams playing in 2025. UK is not on that list, so we’ll have to wait until later in the year to see if 2026 comes on the table or not from Coach Pope and team.

CBS Sports Classic

The team is playing in the CBS Sports Classic through the 2026-27 season. This includes Kentucky, North Carolina, UCLA, and Ohio State as the participating teams.  For the past several seasons, the CBS Sports Classic games have taken place later in December prior to the Christmas Holiday. With UCLA moving to the Big 10 for the 2024-25 season, the games might get modified a bit, but for 2024 we shouldn’t see too much movement.

Kentucky is slated to play Ohio State. This should be cool for fans to see former Wildcat, Aaron Bradshaw, play against them for the Buckeyes. Here are the future matchups (as we sit now) for the Wildcats. The Wildcats and Ohio State play on December 21st, 2024. 

2024Kentucky vs. Ohio State
2025Kentucky vs. UCLA
2026Kentucky vs. North Carolina
CBS Sports Classic Kentucky Schedule

ESPN State Farm Champions Classic

UK (University of Kentucky) basketball is slated for two additional seasons of the ESPN State Farm Champions Classic. For the 2024 men’s schedule, they have Duke on the docket. Kansas is slated for 2025. The season opening men’s college basketball event takes place on November 12, 2024 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta Georgia this season. If you plan on traveling to the games, Kansas takes on Michigan State in the second game in 2024. 

2024Kentucky vs. Duke
2025Kentucky vs. Michigan State
UK ESPN State Farm Champions Class Schedule

Gonzaga Basketball Series

The Kentucky men’s basketball team travels to play Gonzaga in Seattle in the 2024-25 regular season. This will be the third year of a six-year series. There will be a neutral-site game in Nashville in 2025. The teams return to Rupp Arena in 2026, and then the Wildcats play at Gonzaga in 2027. 

Home-and-Home vs Louisville and the SEC/ACC Challenge 

Kentucky Hosts Louisville at Rupp Arena in 2024
Kentucky Hosts Louisville at Rupp Arena in 2024

The home-and-home series vs Louisville remains in the 2024-25 Kentucky basketball schedule. The question is going to be when the two teams play. There are three new teams in the ACC next year (SMU, Cal, and Stanford) to go along with Texas and Oklahoma joining the SEC. Kentucky is expected to have an away ACC game next season. Last season, Kentucky played at Louisville on December 21st. So, we can look for the game to be at Rupp Arena, just a matter of what day. 

Is Home-and-Home vs St. John’s Confirmed? 

So, let’s put this in the probably going to happen game block. During Coach Pope’s introductory press conference, he hinted at playing St. John’s (coached by Pope’s former UK coach, Rick Pitino). By Monday, Pitino accepted his offer to play at Rupp Arena this year and the next at St. John’s (Madison Square Garden) in 2025-26. That would be pretty cool. Especially with all of the great press with the 1996 Kentucky basketball team as Coach Pope came in to take over the program.**** Update – So, we’re confirmed for the home and home..just not starting up until the 2025-26 season to align with the 30th anniversary of the 1996 National Championship. Ann from On3 here.

How will the 2024-25 SEC Basketball Regular Season Schedule Work? 

So, we now have announcement yet like we did for SEC football. For the 2024-25 SEC basketball season, the league will remain at 18 games. With the conference expansion, the makeup of these games is going to change somewhat. Each team will have two permanent opponents. They will play each other twice a season (home-and-away). For Kentucky, this will be Vandy and Tennessee in 2024-25. There is a third opponent that is played home and away (Florida). This opponent will rotate from season to season. Then, the remaining 12 teams will play once each. Split-up even between home and away.

2025 Kentucky Basketball SEC Matchups

We now have the 2025 Kentucky basketball SEC matchups for the 2024-25 regular season schedule. As expected, no change in the total number of games. With the additions of Texas and Oklahoma, Kentucky plays home and away games against Vandy and Tennessee this year. They do not have that with Florida anymore. We’ll get to see Coach Cal and the Razorbacks in Rupp Arena this season, so that will be a crazy game. Once we know more on dates, we’ll let you know. 

2025 UK Basketball SEC Schedule (Opponents)

Home GamesAway Games
Alabamaat Alabama
Arkansasat Georgia
Auburnat Ole Miss Rebels
Floridaat Mississippi State
LSUat Missouri
South Carolinaat Oklahoma
Tennesseeat Tennessee
Texas A&Mat Texas
Vanderbiltat Vanderbilt
2025 SEC Basketball Opponents (Kentucky)

When Can the Wildcats Make a Preseason International Trip Again? 

The next time that Kentucky can go play abroad in the preseason is in 2026. The NCAA allows teams to do this every four years. The team went to the Bahamas for the past three international tours. Coach Pope took BYU to Croatia and Italy in 2023. We’ll likely see more on this planning as we get deeper into the 2024-25 season. 

How will the 2025 SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament Work?

So, we’ve posted up the notional 2025 SEC Men’s basketball tournament schedule for you. The SEC is committed to all 16 member schools participating in the tournament. The top four seeds will continue to earn double-byes in the tournament. There will only be two games added, so you can check out how that will look like for the 2024-25 Kentucky basketball schedule. The tournament is in Nashville, TN again at Bridgestone Arena. It takes place March 12-16, 2025. So, at least one game (hopefully more if you are a BBN fan) will take place then as well.

That’s all we have for now. If you want to check out the 2025 March Madness schedule to see where Kentucky might play next postseason, we have that up for you. In the meantime, we’ll enjoy watching all of the former Wildcats in the 2024 NBA Playoffs. We’ll come back and update you when we have more Kentucky Basketball schedule news. 

What’s Next for Non-Conference Scheduling?

Well, I think once we see Coach Pope nail down the last two UK roster spots to get to 12 (he’s leaving one scholly open for late opportunities), we’ll see some more movement here. On the X, lots of chatter about which in-state mid-major(s) will get added. I think the last I saw on there was WKU, but would be great to see any of them. WKU, EKU, NKU, Murray State, etc. As we seek UK basketball schedule updates will keep you updated. Once confirmed, we’ll put out a printable 2024-25 UK basketball schedule for you in PDF as well.

Coach Pope Introductory Press Conference at Rupp Arena

Will Lewis

Have been covering sports of all types for more than 18 years. March Madness is my favorite time of year before we hit the NBA and NHL playoffs. Will is a lifelong Kentucky Wildcats fan and rooted for the Bengals way back when Joe Montana dashed our hopes and dreams. Now a Padres fan as well. He covers all sports here at Sports Brackets.

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