The Kentucky Wildcats are among one of the first teams in college basketball to announce their full 2020 season schedule, releasing the list on Twitter Friday morning.
Obviously, this year of college basketball will have some notable changes. Despite a late start, the Wildcats still managed to slate a solid, 27-game schedule.
— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) November 6, 2020
The Wildcats had a strong 2019 season with an overall record of 25-6. With such a young lineup last year, Kentucky looks to reload in 2020. John Calipari and his young team should be in for another decent season, especially with the underclassmen talent continuing to develop chemistry. The Wildcats are a preseason top-15 team with the talent to rise in the ranks as the season progresses.
Kentucky will start their season with three consecutive non-conference matchups in the Bluegrass Showcase.
After that, the Wildcats’ first real test comes in their fourth game of the season against blue blood rival Kansas. The Jayhawks are a preseason, consensus top-10 team despite losing star center Udoka Azubuike to the NBA draft this year. Barring unforeseen circumstances, this matchup will be an exciting start to an unorthodox college basketball season.
Kentucky’s matchup with UCLA later on in December will also be intriguing. After transferring away from the Wildcats following his freshman year, forward Johnny Juzang joins the Bruins for the 2020 season and provides them with some young talent of their own. Chris Smith also returns this year for UCLA after averaging 13.1 ppg last season.
After those two early challenges, the Wildcats only face one more preseason top-25 team much later in the year when they take on Texas Tech. The Red Raiders are coming off their best seasons in program history in 2019, making it to the NCAA championship game for the first time ever. This year they add Georgetown transfer Mac McClung, who was granted full eligibility a few weeks ago. With returning talent and new blood, Texas Tech is a consensus top-10 team right now.
Calipari and his team are poised to have a strong season if the young talent can live up to the hype. A couple wins in these marquee matchups would certainly push the Wildcats towards the top 10 or higher.
There’s no doubt going to be some shifting in this schedule as the season goes on, but for now basketball fans can look forward to the return of college hoops.