Two more pieces of the puzzle have come together for the upcoming Kentucky men’s basketball season. UK is slated to face Transylvania and Indiana University of Pennsylvania during its 2018-19 exhibition schedule.
The Wildcats will meet Transylvania on Oct. 26 and IUP on Nov. 2. Both games will be played in Rupp Arena. Times and TV designations will be announced at a later time.
In addition, UK’s season will tip off with Big Blue Madness on Oct. 12 in Rupp Arena. Long considered the official start of the Kentucky basketball season, this year’s grand show will once again take place on a Friday night. The Blue-White Game is slated for a week later, on Oct. 21, in Rupp Arena.
The announcement of UK’s two exhibition games continues to fill out the Wildcats’ highly anticipated 2018-19 schedule. Nonconference opponents feature such matchups as Duke (Nov. 6), Monmouth (Nov. 28), Seton Hall (Dec. 8), Utah (Dec. 15), North Carolina (Dec. 22) and Kansas (Jan. 26).
Kentucky’s SEC opponents for the upcoming season were also announced, although dates have not been released at this time.
The exhibition matchup with Transylvania will serve as a backdrop for the two schools to honor the late C.M. Newton. Newton passed away in June at the age of 88.
A native of Rockwood, Tennessee, Newton grew up in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. His collegiate career began at Kentucky, where he was a basketball forward and baseball pitcher from 1948-51. He was a letterman on Coach Adolph Rupp’s 1951 national champion basketball team and eventually went on to pitch in the minor leagues for the New York Yankees. However, upon the arrival of his two daughters, Newton decided to retire from baseball.
Newton served as a lieutenant in the United States Air Force before going into coaching. He was head basketball coach at Transylvania, Alabama and Vanderbilt, winning more than 500 games and several championships while receiving numerous coach of the year honors.
Newton also served as athletics director at UK from 1989-2000. His term as AD was marked by the addition of three sports – men’s and women’s soccer and softball – expansion of facilities and growth in revenues in response to the increasing financial pressures of college athletics.
Transylvania and Kentucky have a regular-season series record of 7-7 as the two squads faced off 14 times from 1903-11. UK has also played the Pioneers three times in exhibition action during John Calipari’s tenure with the last being in 2013.
The Pioneers went 17-9 a season ago under 17th-year head coach Brian Lane, a Lexington native. He’s led Transylvania to 20 or more wins four times and qualified for the NCAA National Tournament five times.
IUP, located in Indiana, Pennsylvania, will mark UK’s second exhibition contest. The Crimson Hawks enjoyed a 22-8 season in 2017-18, but missed out on at-large bid to the NCAA Division II tournament appearance. IUP was the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference’s western division regular-season champion.
The Crimson Hawks have made 14 NCAA Tournaments all time, including eight under current head coach Joe Lombardi. He guided the Crimson Hawks to seven straight tournaments from 2009-15, including a national championship game appearance in 2015.
Kentucky will take part in its foreign tour in the Bahamas beginning on Aug. 8. All four games in the Bahamas will be aired by the SEC Network. That will serve as a precursor to the regular season, which will officially open vs. Duke on Nov. 6 as part of the Champions Classic in Chicago.
The complete dates and opponents of Kentucky’s schedule to this point can be found under the schedule tab at ukathletics.com.