Start Dates for SEC basketball seasons revealed


Kentucky freshman forward Keion Brooks Jr. grabs a pass during the game against Florida on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020, at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky won 65-59. Photo by Jordan Prather | Staff

Eric Decker

Kentucky football fans have just one day remaining before kickoff against Auburn. And after today’s announcement, Big Blue Nation now has a tentative date to see the Cats take the hardwood against conference foes.

The SEC released a statement earlier today on its 2020-2021 slate, revealing the start dates and number of games for both the men’s and women’s basketball teams.

After opening conference play the first weekend of January the past two seasons, the men’s schedule will open on the final Tuesday and Wednesday of the year (December 29th and 30th). That start is the earliest for the Cats since they played Ole Miss on the 29th back in 2016-2017.

The women’s schedule is still on track to start on December 31st, which last happened for Matthew Mitchell’s crew in the 2017-2018 season.

The men’s teams will play 18 games over a 20-date period, with those extra days built in for potential make-ups for games. The women’s schedule will follow roughly the same pattern, with 16 games an 18 total dates to play.

No statement was made on when the conference would announce the actual schedules for either league.

Earlier this month, the NCAA named November 25th as the start date of the 2020-21 season. This left the Cats and many others on their own when it comes to reorganizing their non-conference opponents. But there is apparently a plan in action on the men’s side.

Kentucky reportedly wants to host its own bubble in Lexington to help guarantee some of the non-conference bouts they already had scheduled. If it happens, the bubble is rumored to have Detroit-Mercy (the team of former Wildcat and Coach Cal’s son, Brad), Hartford and Richmond come to the bluegrass state.

With the Cats still currently set to play at Georgia Tech in the first game of “Holiday Hoopsgiving” on November 27th, there’s no indication of when the supposed bubble may take place.

Nothing has been announced regarding the women’s non-conference schedule to this point.

Braden Ramsey contributed to this story.