Ahead of the 2022-23 college basketball season, the Kentucky Wildcats and Gonzaga Bulldogs have agreed to a home-and-home series. Head coach John Calipari and his squad will travel to Spokane for the first installment of the series in November.
The series was announced by way of a public conversation between Coach Cal and Gonzaga head coach Mark Few during Kentucky's open practice on Tuesday night.
Coach Cal is excited about the series, but wishes his team didn't have to make the first away-game move.
"I’m excited about playing Gonzaga," he wrote on Twitter. "I’m disappointed that we have to go there first, but to make it happen I was willing to do that. Playing in front of 13K crazy fans in Spokane Arena will be exciting just like it will be in front of 22K fans in Rupp next year.
"... Anybody that wants us to play in a 6,000-seat facility, wants us to lose! And I get that. I tried to look back and find the last time UK played in a true regular-season road game with 6,000 or fewer fans. I stopped looking after the 70s."
The college basketball world took to Twitter to react to this message from Calipari.
"Calipari taking a page out of the Nick Saban playbook. He thinks he's puffing out his chest but he's really showing off his insecurities," one fan wrote.
"This is some serious Coach K energy here," another added.
"I mean, anywhere you play (other than at home)) they want you to lose. Has nothing to do with the size of the arena. Also, there is nothing wrong with wanting Kentucky to lose," another said.
These two powerhouse college basketball programs have only played on one other occasion. Kentucky won the first and only meeting at the 2002 Maui Invitational 80-72.
This November 20 contest will be one of the most highly-anticipated regular-season matchups of the year. Both teams are ranked top five in ESPN's Way-Too-Early preseason Top 25.
The Zags will come to Rupp Arena for a matchup in 2023-24.