LEX18 — The Kentucky men's basketball schedule is starting to take shape. The Wildcats will host the Texas Longhorns on January 30 in Rupp Arena, as a part of the annual SEC/Big 12 Challenge.
The game will be a reunion of sorts for new Kentucky staffer Jail Lucas, who joined the UK men's basketball staff during the off-season to become the special assistant to the head coach and the team's recruiting coordinator. Previously, Lucas spent two years playing for the Longhorns and seven seasons as an assistant coach on the Texas staff.
The 2021 slate of SEC/Big 12 Challenge games will mark the eighth season of the annual event between the conferences. Ten of the SEC's 14 teams will participate in the 2021 challenge against all 10 of the Big 12's institutions, with each conference hosting five games apiece. The four SEC teams not participating will play each other in conference games the same day.
Here's a look at the other matchups in the event:
All 10 games will air across ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU and will be available on the ESPN app. Game times and network designations will be announced at a later date.
The matchup will mark just the third all-time meeting between the two schools. Kentucky and Texas last met Dec. 5, 2014 in Rupp Arena in the third season of SEC/Big 12 Challenge. The top-ranked Wildcats won 63-51 over the No. 6/7 Longhorns behind 21 points and 12 rebounds from All-American Willie Cauley-Stein. The only other matchup between the two schools was in December 1993 for the Maui Invitational. UK also won that game, 86-61.
This season, you can expect an experienced Texas team to show up to Rupp Arena, as they're returning all 14 of their players who appeared in a game last season. The Longhorns also added a top-10 recruit in forward Greg Brown III.
The announcement of the Texas game is the first official confirmation on the revised 2020-21 UK men's basketball schedule. Kentucky has not yet released its new 2020-21 schedule after the NCAA Division I Council recently approved starting the season on November 25. The Southeastern Conference has established Dec. 29 and 30 as the new start dates for the conference schedule. With the league scheduling framework set and the maximum number of games set, UK will have nine nonconference games -- if it plays in a multi-team event that includes three teams -- to work with. That includes the SEC/Big 12 Challenge.
The full schedule is expected to be released soon. Kentucky is hopeful to honor many of its previously announced nonconference games. LEX18 will keep you up-to-date with the latest as the schedule continues to develop.
Tune in to BBN Tonight this evening at 7:30 to hear our full breakdown of the SEC-Big12 Challenge matchup, and be sure to follow us across all of your favorite social media platforms to stay updated.