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Kentucky releases their non-conference schedule; it’s strong

May 1, 2013, 4:56 PM EDT

SEC Basketball Tournament - Quarterfinals - Vanderbilt v Kentucky Getty Images

If Kentucky is going to go 40-0 next season, they certainly are going to have their work cut out for them, as John Calipari put together a strong non-conference schedule.

After playing a pair of guarantee games to kick off the season, Kentucky heads to Chicago to take on Michigan State in the Champions Classic. They’ll return home to play four games in the Keightley Classic — including a rematch with Robert Morris, who beat Kentucky in Pittsburgh in the first round of the NIT last season — before their schedule ramps up in December.

The Wildcats have a date with Providence at the Barclays Center and will travel to Arlington, TX, to take on Baylor at Cowboys Stadium. After that, Coach Cal sandwiched a trip to Chapel Hill to take on UNC between home dates with Boise State and Belmont.

Kentucky will end their non-conference schedule by hosting Louisville on December 28th.

Put it all together, and the Wildcats will play the other two top three teams in the NBCSports.com Preseason Top 25 while playing the No. 10 team on the road and hosting a Boise State team that we have just outside the top 25. Even some of their buy games come against very good mid-major programs — Belmont, Robert Morris, Cleveland State.

Kentucky may end up being challenged more in the non-conference that they are during SEC play.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

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