LEXINGTON, Ky. – Adding to an already marquee nonconference slate of games for the next two seasons, the Kentucky basketball team has signed a two-year home-and-home series with UCLA, beginning with a trip to Los Angeles during the 2015-16 season.
UK will begin the series with a trip to Pauley Pavilion on Dec. 3, 2015, which will mark the Wildcats’ first visit to UCLA’s storied facility. UCLA will return the trip on Dec. 3, 2016 in what will be the first matchup of the two bluebloods in Rupp Arena history.
Kentucky is already scheduled to face UCLA this season in the CBS Sports Classic on Dec. 20 at the United Center in Chicago.
“Steve and I have known each other for more than 20 years. When he and I started talking about a possible series, it seemed like a no-brainer to me,” said John Calipari (pictured). “One, with the way our schedule is shaking out for next year, it gives us another great opportunity early in the season to learn about ourselves. Two, not only does Big Blue Nation get to see two of the historic programs in Rupp Arena when UCLA returns the trip in 2016, it gives our fans on the other side of the country a chance to see our team in person. I couldn’t be more excited about the way our nonconference schedule is shaping up for the next two years. It should be another challenge.”
UK is 6-4 all-time vs. the Bruins, with all but three of the previous matchups having taken place on a neutral floor.
The last time Kentucky hosted UCLA in Lexington was a 77-76 Wildcat win on Feb. 17, 1961. Likewise, UK hasn’t played UCLA in Los Angeles since beating the Bruins 68-66 on Dec. 4, 1959.
UK’s nonconference schedule for the next two seasons is already shaping up to be every bit as good as the 2014-15 slate, which has already featured three ranked opponents in just eight games.
In 2015-16, in addition to the trip to UCLA, Calipari’s team will play Duke in Chicago in the Champions Classic, travel to Brooklyn, N.Y., to take on Ohio State in the CBS Sports Classic, and host Louisville at Rupp Arena.
The following season, in 2016-17, Kentucky will play Michigan State in New York in the Champions Classic, battle UCLA at home in the second year of a home-and-home series, and face North Carolina in Las Vegas in the CBS Sports Classic.
The top-ranked Wildcats will return to the court on Wednesday at Rupp Arena when UK faces Columbia. Tip is set for 7 p.m. on ESPN2.