LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky men’s basketball team will once again be one of the most televised teams in the country with the release of the majority of its TV designations and tip times for the 2018-19 season.
The complete Southeastern Conference TV schedule was unveiled Wednesday, Sept. 19 by the league office. In addition, several of the Wildcats’ nonconference games are now set by the major television networks.
Thus far, every regular-season game UK will play in this season will be on national television. Kentucky’s pro day, exhibition games, Big Blue Madness, Blue-White Scrimmage and the SEC Tournament will also air on national television.
All of the games included in the ESPN package (ESPN, ESPN2 and SEC Network) will also be available through the ESPN app, which is accessible on computers, smartphones, tablets and connected devices to fans who receive their video subscription from an affiliated provider. All of the CBS Sports games will be available to stream live in markets across the U.S. via the CBS All Access subscription service, with additional coverage on CBSSports.com and the CBS Sports app. Additionally, UK’s matchup with Seton Hall in Madison Square Garden will air via Fox Sports and be available to live stream in markets across the U.S. via the Fox Sports app and logging on with your cable provider.
In addition to the TV schedule, times are now available for most of the Wildcats’ 2018-19 games. The most up-to-date TV and tipoff schedule is below.
The Wildcats’ schedule is packed with marquee games, a number of battles with college basketball’s blueblood programs and trips across the country.
Kentucky's schedule will see the Wildcats play in premier venues such as the United Center in Chicago (vs. North Carolina) and Madison Square Garden in New York (vs. Seton Hall), features a game up the road in Indianapolis in the State Farm Champions Classic (vs. Duke), and includes a difficult trip to Louisville to play the Cardinals.
Seven of UK's 13 nonconference opponents in the upcoming season made a postseason tournament in 2018, five of which made the NCAA Tournament. Combined with the league schedule, the Wildcats will face 16 teams that played in the postseason in 2018, including 12 in the NCAA Tournament. UK's competition combined to go 526-356 (.596) last season. Kentucky will meet that schedule head on with what looks to be a solid blend of talent and experience. The Wildcats welcome back PJ Washington, UK's third-leading scorer and leading rebounder from a season ago, Quade Green, the Wildcats' second-leading assist man, and Nick Richards, who started every game in 2017-18. Calipari has once again brought in another top-ranked recruiting class, which showcased its talent during UK's 4-0 foreign exhibition tour in the Bahamas.
Playing against professional teams from Argentina, the Bahamas, Canada and Serbia – teams Calipari predicted would knock off UK at least once or twice – the Wildcats rolled in all four with an average margin of 29.0 points per game. UK shot 49.8 percent from the floor, outrebounded its opponents by an average of 12.5 boards per game, dished out 17.0 assists per contest and committed just 11.3 turnovers, largely with a new team. Five Wildcats averaged double figures, led by freshman Tyler Herro. Washington averaged 14.5 points and 7.5 rebounds, and Stanford graduate transfer Reid Travis averaged a double-double with 10.8 points and 10.3 rebounds per game. The league is coming off a banner season in 2017-18. A record eight SEC teams participated in the 2018 NCAA Tournament and the conference defeated the Big 12 6-4 in the annual SEC/Big 12 Challenge. Four league teams are in ESPN.com's way-too-early top-25 rankings and five are in the CBS Sports way-too-early rankings. All told, 20 of ESPN.com's Top 100 recruits having signed with SEC schools. The SEC boasts six of ESPN.com's Top 25 in-coming recruiting classes. Kentucky's three-year run of SEC regular-season championships came to an end last season, but the SEC Tournament streak marched on. UK won its fourth straight league tourney title and sixth overall in nine seasons under John Calipari. The Wildcats were tabbed No. 1 in the Blue Ribbon College Basketball Preseason Yearbook earlier this week.
Photo of Quade Green by Jamie H. Vaught