LEXINGTON, Ky. (KT) — Kentucky will play a pair of instate schools before officially opening the season against Michigan State in the State Farm Champions Classic.
The Wildcats will take on Georgetown College at 5 p.m. on Oct. 27 and Kentucky State in a 7 p.m. contest on Nov. 1. Both games will be played at Rupp Arena and televised on the SEC Network.
Kentucky is 2-0 against Georgetown College, including a 121-52 win in an exhibition game at Rupp Arena in 2014. The Wildcats defeated Kentucky State 111-58 one year later in a tune-up game in 2015.
The Tigers won its third NAIA Division I title last season and have made three national championship game appearances under Chris Briggs, who was a student manager at Kentucky from 2001-04 and a graduate assistant from 2004-06 under Tubby Smith.
"We are very grateful to have the opportunity to play Kentucky in Rupp Arena," Briggs said. "Our players will be very excited to have this unique experience that they will always cherish. We are certainly appreciative of coach (John) Calipari, DeWayne Peevy and Mitch Barnhart for their generosity to our basketball program."
The Thorobreds went 13-14 last season and will be playing at Rupp Arena for just the third time in school history.
"This is an exceptional opportunity to represent our program," said Kentucky State University coach Jamaal Jackson. “To compete in one of the greatest atmospheres in college basketball will be a great and memorable experience for our student-athletes. This contest allows us to see where we are at a team early in the season, against one of the top teams in the nation. This provides our institution and our basketball program with significant exposure on the national stage."
Kentucky has won 15 straight exhibition games and 61 of its last 63 regular-season tune-up games.
Big Blue Madness is set for 7 p.m. on Oct. 11, followed by the Blue-White game one week later at 7 p.m. on Oct. 18. Both events also will be shown on the SEC Network.
Keith Taylor is sports editor for Kentucky Today. Reach him at email@example.com or twitter @keithtaylor21.