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August 10, 2012Both of the Southeastern Conference's newest teams will visit Rupp Arena this season, and Kentucky will play two games each against rivals Florida, Tennessee and Vanderbilt.
Those are among the highlights of the SEC men's basketball schedule, released Friday afternoon.
Kentucky will play a league-leading 13 conference games on national television (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU or CBS), to go along with five non-conference games already slated for ESPN or ESPN2.
Tip times and TV broadcast information for some nonconference games will be announced at a later date.
The Wildcats, the defending SEC and NCAA champions, will open conference play in the new 18-game format on Jan. 10 at Vanderbilt. The Commodores return to Rupp Arena on Feb. 20.
Kentucky gets its first look at Texas A&M on Jan. 12 when the Aggies visit Rupp. The Wildcats travel to College Station, Texas, for a game on Feb. 2, UK's first-ever visit there.
Missouri makes its first trip to Rupp Arena on Feb. 23 for ESPN's College GameDay. The Wildcats don't make a return trip to Columbia, S.C., this season.
In addition to Vanderbilt and Texas A&M, Kentucky will play two games this season against Auburn (in Auburn, Ala., Jan. 19 and in Lexington Feb. 9); Florida (in Gainesville, Fla., on Feb. 12, in Lexington on March 9 for the season finale); and Tennessee (in Lexington on Jan. 15 and in Knoxville, Tenn., on Feb. 16).
The Wildcats also make road trips to Alabama, Ole Miss, Arkansas and Georgia. They'll also play single home games against LSU, South Carolina and Mississippi State.
The SEC Tournament will be held at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn., March 13-17.
The SEC Network will televise the tournament games on Wednesday and Thursday in addition to the Friday night games.
ESPNU will televise the two afternoon games on Friday. Saturday's semifinals and Sunday's championship game being broadcast nationally on ABC.
John Calipari, 102-14 in three seasons at Kentucky, has won two SEC titles. He's 40-8 in SEC play, including 16-0 last season.
The Cats lost all five starters from last season's 38-2 NCAA champion, but have return Kyle Wiltjer from last season's rotation and add point guard Ryan Harrow, who sat out last season after transferring from N.C. State, and the nation's top-ranked recruiting class.
Kentucky opens the season with Big Blue Madness on Oct. 12 and plays its first exhibition game on Nov. 1 against Northwood.
The Cats' regular-season opener is Nov. 9 against Maryland at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.