Kentucky will get Arkansas at home next basketball season

One of the most anticipated games of the opening season of the Mark Pope coaching era at the University of Kentucky will be played in Rupp Arena in 2024-25.

Arkansas will visit Kentucky at Rupp Arena in their only meeting next season. Of course, that game will be a must-see because of John Calipari returning to his former Kentucky home as the new coach of the Razorbacks.

The SEC scheduling gurus determined once next season would be enough for the Wildcats and Hogs to tangle in what would be two of the most watched games on the SEC television schedule next season. There is no home-and-home with Kentucky and Arkansas next season.

The first pieces to Pope’s inaugural schedule were unveiled by the Southeastern Conference on Monday. The Wildcats will play all 15 league foes at least once and will tangle with Alabama, Tennessee and Vanderbilt in home-and-home fashion.

Kentucky’s league home schedule will also Auburn, Florida, LSU, South Carolina and Texas A&M.

Times, dates and television information will be announced at a later date.

The league office released the 2024-25 home-and-away designations for the league schedule which once again features an 18-game slate with the additions of Oklahoma and Texas to the SEC.

Kentucky will play nine games within the friendly confines of Rupp Arena at Central Bank Center and play an equal number of games on the road.

This season, the Wildcats will take on Alabama, Tennessee and Vanderbilt in a home-and-home series. It will extend two of the longest-played series in the nation with multiple dates against the Volunteers and Commodores. The two matchups against Alabama will mark the first time the Cats and Tide have met twice in a regular season since 2021-22.

UK’s road matchups will include Georgia, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas.

The SEC will add Texas and Oklahoma to its alignment in 2024-25 enhancing an already formidable league.

The SEC has had 43 NCAA Tournament selections over the last six tournaments, and the league has had at least one team advance to the Elite Eight in 10 of the last 14 tournaments. The league’s success has also translated into 60 players being selected in the last six NBA Drafts, leading all conferences in that time span.

UK’s home-and-home slate features three intriguing matchups. The Wildcats will take on Alabama, who advanced to its first Final Four in program history in 2024, for two dates next season. Kentucky captured the lone matchup between the two teams a season ago, with the Cats earning a 117-95 victory in Rupp Arena. Kentucky leads the all-time series by a 117-41 mark.

Kentucky has played Tennessee more than any other program in its history and owns a 161-78 all-time record after splitting the series a season ago. Both visiting teams secured a win in 2023-24, with UK’s coming in upset fashion to spoil Senior Night in Knoxville, Tennessee, on March 9.

Kentucky leads the all-time series with Vanderbilt 157-49. UK won both meetings in 2023-24 and are 16-2 against the Commodores in the last 18 matchups. The Wildcats are 86-16 against VU in Lexington and own a 63-29 mark in Nashville.