Thursday, May 14, 2015

Kentucky to face Kansas at Allen Fieldhouse next season

Kansas forward Landen Lucas (33) grabs a rebound from Kentucky center Dakari Johnson (44) during the first half of the Champions Classic on Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

Kansas forward Landen Lucas (33) grabs a rebound from Kentucky center Dakari Johnson (44) during the first half of the Champions Classic on Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.


The Kentucky Wildcats are coming to Allen Fieldhouse during the 2015-16 college basketball season.

The Big 12 and Southeastern Conferences on Thursday afternoon announced the match-ups for the 2015-16 Big 12/SEC Challenge and the UK at Kansas match-up on Jan. 30, 2016 headlines the slate.

With 2,153 all-time victories, Kansas ranks second behind Kentucky (2,178) in NCAA Division I men’s basketball history. That fact figures to be just one of the many aspects of the showdown that will make this one of the marquee games of next season.

"I'm sure our players and fans will be excited about the match-up between the two winningest programs of all-time," KU coach Bill Self told the Journal-World on Thursday. "It's very unique to play a game of this caliber midway through the conference season, but will give both programs great exposure."

The upcoming Big 12/SEC Challenge will mark the seventh meeting between the two schools in the Self era at KU. The series is tied at 3-3 and includes two meetings during the 2011-12 season at the ESPN Champions Classic in New York and the NCAA title game in New Orleans, both UK victories.


Kansas University freshman guard Brandon Rush, right, rises to block the shot of Kentucky's Joe Crawford during the first half of the Jayhawks' lopsided 73-46 rout of the Wildcats. Rush had 24 points, 12 rebounds, four assists, two blocks and a steal in the victory Saturday in Allen Fieldhouse.

Kentucky leads the overall series with Kansas, 22-6, but the Jayhawks have won three consecutive KU-UK matchups in Allen Fieldhouse, with the last being a 73-46 victory on Jan. 7, 2006.

Kentucky has won the last three meetings in the series, most recently on Nov. 18, 2014 when then-No. 1 Kentucky defeated, then-No. 5-Kansas, 72-40, in the ESPN Champions Classic in Indianapolis.

“The addition of Kentucky to our home schedule makes it one of the more attractive home schedules that we’ve had," Self added. "Even though the game is during conference play, I know with Kentucky coming here the interest level will be very high. Anytime you get the opportunity to have the number one and two winningest programs in college basketball face each other, the attention for that game will be great.”

For the first time, all games in the challenge will be played on one day — Saturday, January 30.

ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU will combine to televise every game of the third edition of the annual event. Each conference will be the host school for five games.

In addition, ESPN’s College GameDay Covered by State Farm will originate from a to-be-determined site of one of the day’s games.

The Big 12 is 13-7 (.650) in the challenge, having won the series in each of its first two seasons. The Big 12 has posted a 41-27 (.603) record in the last two conference challenge series it has played (vs. Pac-10, SEC) dating back to 2007.

“The Big 12 is proud to once again take part in the Challenge,” Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said in a release. “Our teams have had unprecedented success on the basketball court over the last two seasons and we are excited to provide the fans more quality opponents on the schedules.”

The challenge has eight teams ranked in the early top 25 rankings overall, including five Big 12 teams: No. 1 Kentucky, No. 3 Iowa State, No. 6 Kansas, No. 10 Oklahoma, No. 17 Baylor, No. 19 LSU, No. 23 Texas and No. 24 Texas A&M.;

Three games will pit ranked squads against each other: Kentucky at Kansas, Iowa State at Texas A&M; and Oklahoma at LSU.

2016 Big 12 / SEC Challenge

- Saturday, January 30, 2016

Kentucky at Kansas
- Jayhawks have won the last three meetings in Lawrence

Georgia at Baylor
- First meeting between the schools

Mississippi at Kansas State
- K-State won last game between the teams in 2013

Tennessee at TCU
- Frogs won only series meeting, 73-59, in 1991

Vanderbilt at Texas
- Longhorns topped VU, 70-64, in 2013-14

Iowa State at Texas A&M;
- ISU has won the last two meetings

Oklahoma at LSU
- Teams have split their previous four matchups

Oklahoma State at Auburn
- OSU won last meeting, played in 2006

Texas Tech at Arkansas
- 96th meeting between the schools, first since 2006

West Virginia at Florida - Bob Huggins will face Gators for first time


Eric TheCapn 7 years, 4 months ago

So, uh... what's the best way to get affordable tickets as non-wealthy alumnus, chaps?

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 4 months ago

Find out which day tickets go on sale to the general public and be on KU's website the time they go on sale because there probably won't be but a couple thousand tickets if that. If that doesn't happen, you could get lucky and find something reasonable the day before or day of the game on Stubhub or Craigslist.

Michael Leiker 7 years, 4 months ago

Pretty sure there will not be any left for this one for the general public

Marius Rowlanski 7 years, 4 months ago

You called it... I thought we'd get Missouri.

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 4 months ago

Conferences try to match up opponents based on where teams finished the year before and where teams are generally projected to finish in the upcoming season. Missouri was absolutely terrible last year and will be even worse next season. As much fun as it would be to beat Missouri by 40 points, it wouldn't make for good TV like a Kansas-Kentucky game would.

Also, part of the deal with this challenge was ESPN agreed to not pair KU with Missouri or Texas with Texas A&M. That could change one day and if this event is still going on then, that'll be the time we see those match ups happen.

Ludwig Supraphonic 7 years, 4 months ago

Always wonder how much pressure there is for KU-Mizzou and UT-TAMU match-ups.

Jay Scott 7 years, 4 months ago

Over/under on how long until Kentucky forfeits a couple dozen of those wins from the Calipayola era?

Rob Bedford III 7 years, 4 months ago

Calipari did all his cheating before coming to Kentucky. Now he has a well oiled top recruit machine and does not need to cheat.

Jay Scott 7 years, 4 months ago

You don't think those kids get paid? You're naive.

Jeremy Bolinger 7 years, 4 months ago

Been waiting for this announcement. I simply cannot wait for this matchup!

Jacob Zutterman 7 years, 4 months ago

My birthday is the 25th. Any offers on buying tickets for me :)

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 4 months ago

KU should win as long they attack the rim. Kentucky will have no frontcourt depth and if Skal Labissiere doesn't get cleared (still very possible), Kentucky is going to be playing Alex Poythress out of position at the 4 and relying on Marcus Lee to be their interior presence. Poythress is a pretty good player and would've been a 1st round pick this year had he not torn his ACL, but Marcus Lee has been a total bust through two years.

The back courts should be pretty evenly match. Ulis and Mason should be a great battle at the point and Selden and Graham against Isaiah Briscoe should be fun. The wing match up largely depends on what position Alex Poythress plays and if it's not the 3, KU will have a huge advantage with Svi and Greene against a couple of mid to low 4 star combos who will be playing out of position.

This is a game that KU should win by double digits as the rosters stand right now. This will be the marquis match up because of the names on the front of the jerseys, but it's entirely possible that Oklahoma-LSU ends being the best game come late January. ISU-A&M should also be a pretty good one and Texas-Vanderbilt could end being a match up of top 25 teams by the time Jan. 30 rolls around.

Micky Baker 7 years, 4 months ago

56 to top the 150-95 defeat we had over them in 1989 or 1990.

Marius Rowlanski 7 years, 4 months ago

Kentucky 22 - 6 vs Kansas. I'll settle for a win by ANY score.

Greg Lux 7 years, 4 months ago

Now this will be a game made for TV. Anyone who couldn't see this coming needs a brain scan.

Scott MacWilliams 7 years, 4 months ago

This is going to be a GREAT game!!! And I like the odds of the Big 12 sweeping the SEC for the day! I can hardly wait!!

Kentucky Fried all the way!!

Rock Chalk!!

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 4 months ago

I don't think a sweep is likely. The Big 12 should win it this year with 6 or 7 wins.

Kentucky @ Kansas: Kansas is the better team on paper and should be able to win by double digits.

Georgia @ Baylor: Both should be tournament teams but Baylor should be slightly better than Georgia and with home court should win.

Ole Miss @ KSU: Ole Miss should win this one in a blow out. KSU is going to be awful next season (potentially under 10 total wins awful).

Tennessee @ TCU: Tennessee is the better team, but with Rick Barnes coaching them, you never know which team will show up. I'll still give the slight edge to Tennessee though.

Vanderbilt @ Texas: Texas has more talent and the better coach, they should win but this could be one of the better games in the series this year.

ISU @ Texas A&M: ISU is the better team, but A&M should be pretty good and with the game in College Station should be a great game. I would take ISU over the Aggies in this one.

Oklahoma @ LSU: This should be the game of the series. Both teams could be top 15 when this game rolls around, but I would give the edge to OU because of their experience over LSU's youth.

OSU @ Auburn: OSU is trending down with Ford and Auburn is trending up with Pearl. OSU will have more talent, but Auburn might be the better team by that point in the season.

Texas Tech @ Arkansas: Arkansas is the better team and should win comfortably.

WVU @ Florida: If Mike White can't keep Donovan's class together (doesn't look like he will), Florida will probably be worse next year than they were this past season and WVU should win.

That would put in at 6-4 Big 12, but I could be talked into OSU beating Auburn and possibly TCU over Tennessee.

Rodney Crain 7 years, 4 months ago

The best chance for KU to beat KY in years. Hopefully we take full advantage of this opportunity!

Micky Baker 7 years, 4 months ago

Mark this date on the calendar. Take the day off. It's worthy of it. Have a watch party starting early in the afternoon.

We have so much room to improve and if we improve to just being almost as good as this team can be, we should be a contender for the national title.

Tony Bandle 7 years, 4 months ago

I'm calling my friend from Stephenson Hall, Wilbur Nether, to reserve two tickets for this game, then I'm going to sneak in two water baloons filled with racoon piss to throw at Calipari!!!

Gee..the two winningest progams in the history of the NCAA, playing in the greatest basketball venue on this planet with two teams coached by a future and a current Hall of Fame coach.....gee, I wonder which game TV will choose for Game Day!!!! :)

Alan Dickey 7 years, 4 months ago

I roomed with Wilbur at Stephenson Hall in the '80s and read many of his subscribed magazines. I also roomed in 1988 in a 13th St. apartment with a gentleman who shares your last name (and watched the '88 NC game with him)? Likely relation?

Tony Bandle 7 years, 4 months ago

If his first name was Jeff then, yes, that is my little brother .

Alan Dickey 7 years, 4 months ago

Yep. Ask him about my cardboard easy chair.

Keith Gellar 7 years, 4 months ago


Lots at stake here- bragging rights, revenge for last year,

With a more experienced line up, top ranked players, deeper bench and home court, THIS IS A GUARANTEED WIN...Barring injuries to diallo or bragg or ellis, we absolutely have no reason why we should not win this game.

If we cannot win this game, then we really need to take a look at our selves and set expectations.

Tom Jones 7 years, 4 months ago


Will be a great game, though. First time in several years that KU has had the better team when the two matched up.

If Skal is eligible, this could be a close game, but I imagine Self will try to open things up as much as possible to wear them down. Their starting five is going to be excellent but they won't have much depth at all, whereas we should be going at least 9 deep.

Keith Gellar 7 years, 4 months ago

uh..yes...more national exposure and more recruits pay attention to this. again, if your ultimate goal is to win the big 12 championship and you are satisfied what that result (which i'm pretty sure you are), then i can see why you say what you say.

Tom Jones 7 years, 4 months ago

No one's "ultimate goal" is to win the's to win the national championship, so that part of your post is just plain silly. You're correct that I'm "satisfied with that result", though. If you're going to play in a league, you might as well win it. It's much more satisfying than seeing someone else win it. I'm sorry if you're one of those folks who thinks the outcome of the league race somehow "affects" how KU does in the NCAA tournament. That's an untenable position, though, so there's no real reason to debate it.

No recruit is going to pick Kentucky or Kansas based on who wins a game between them (there is a litany of reasons for this and much evidence, including very recent recruiting results, to the contrary) If you think they are, you don't really understand recruiting. What the recruits WILL see is the unbelievable atmosphere in Allen Field House.

Don't get me wrong, I hope KU drills Kentucky, but winning a tough league, especially with the ridiculous streak KU has going, is much more important than winning one non-conference game, however high profile it is.

Joe Ross 7 years, 4 months ago

I, for one, certainly think it's bigger than the Big 12 championship speaking in general terms. The Big 12 championship has a little more focus right now because Kansas is in the midst of a streak, but if no such run existed and at the beginning of the season you had asked me "which would you rather...?", Id take a win over Kentucky every day of the week and twice on Sunday. Why? It's a battle of the two bluest bluebloods (and NO ONE in the Big 12 conference can match that billing). Kentucky is both the leader by far in the series and in the midst of domination in our last several meetings. The game has potential to play in the minds of recruits. In preseason polls Ive seen, no one in the Big 12 is ranked as highly as Kentucky. Finally, you cant get punked at home by the Kentucky Wildcats of all teams. Would I trade a Big 12 championship and a loss vs Kentucky to end the streak but get a win against the Wildcats AT HOME? Every. Day. Of. The. Week.

Boy if we lost that game the perception of the programs would be that Kentucky is the better, and that I can not stomach (not to mention you'd never hear the last of it by BBN). Losing the Big 12 Championship is destined to happen at some point. It is certainly much more tolerable, especially because Ive been sated by the string of wins we've had thus far. For me this is an easy call.

Tom Jones 7 years, 4 months ago

Easy call for me, too, Joe. If The Streak wasn't in effect and on the verge of being the longest in college basketball history, this would still be an easy call, but at least I'd think about it for a second.

And you are both overestimating the impact of one game on recruits, no matter how "big". Didn't seem to bother Diallo or Wiggins much.

Not surprised at Keith's reaction, but I am at yours, Joe, as your posts are knowledgable. Now I don't hold this against you in that regard, as this is an opinion we're talking about, but it seems odd to include Kentucky fans' reactions as part of your reasoning for one. Maybe you have a lot of UK fan friends and that colors your opinion on this? I mean...we all come across them online, but does those interactions really *matter?

But more importantly, recruits care about the coach, playing time, coach's track record getting players drafted, playing time, the vibe they get from the arena, fans, potential teammates, playing time, location of the university (sometimes), playing time, the town the school is in and playing time. They don't give a rat's ass about who beat who in some non-conference game.

Do either of you have any evidence to the contrary?

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 4 months ago

You mention two things in your list that show why is important for recruiting. Vibe in the arena (I call it the atmosphere), and fans. Those two reasons are why this game is big for recruiting and why would you not want to get as many recruits inside Allen Fieldhouse for the best atmosphere AFH will have seen since the last time Missouri played there in 2012. It may not be the deciding factor for a recruit, but why would you not want to give yourself every advantage possible and bringing in kids for a likely College Gameday game against the highest profile opponent possible is definitely something KU should and will take advantage of.

I agree with Joe that if I had a choice between winning this game or the Big 12 title, I'll take the Kentucky game. Success at Kansas is defined differently than at 99% of the schools out there. Fair or not, agree or disagree, success at Kansas is defined success in March and April and what happens against the other blue bloods. Why are 2011, 2010, 2003, and 1997 remembered they way they are? Failures in March are why. Why are scores/players like 150-95, 72-40, 40-12, Marcus Thornton, Gerry McNamara, Hakeem Warrick, Terrance Jones and others remembered by KU fans the way they are? Because of March/April and individual games against KU in the tournament or other high profile games.

ISU and Oklahoma are both preseason top 10 teams and capable of winning the regular season title and that would be a huge achievement for either school and would get its own banner in their arenas. Only Final Four's and national titles get their own banners in AFH. Also, the reality is that KU's head to head record against most of the other blue bloods isn't very good and why some people have KU as far down as 5th when discussing greatest program of all time. I would honestly trade all 11 conference titles for the tournament success KU should've had in 2010 and 2011 in the blink of an eye.

Tom Jones 7 years, 4 months ago

I'm not sure what the first paragraph is an argument against. I'm not arguing we should not be playing UK in AFH. It's a great game to have on the schedule.

Second and third paragraphs, again, not sure what that is responding to. We'd all trade national titles for conference titles.

Joe Ross 7 years, 4 months ago

Knowledge can not be the driver in settling a question whose nature is " which would you rather...". Matt Tait, for example, wrote an article describing the emotional quandary some Kansas fans may have found themselves in during football season. If Missouri won, it appeared for a time that either TCU, or Baylor or both might get into the 4-team college playoff (of course that meant money on the line for Kansas, by virtue of the fact that our conference would have been represented). Relying on reason alone fans should have argued for what was best for Kansas financially; not surprisingly, however, the landslide consensus was to forfeit the money and, er..."Muck Fizzou". There are two teams who hold special status for being a nemesis for this University's fans: Missouri and Kentucky, and their passion--not knowledge--is what settles the opinion for many of them, and I am not an exception. So it is in this case, and our position is unimpeachable. Now a claim was made that I overestimate the value of an isolated win on recruiting. On the contrary, the value of maintaining the position that single games have no impact on recruiting in supporting a view opposite to mine is being overestimated, as is clear by this line of reasoning: the bulk of the arguments made in favor of a win vs. Kentucky over a Big 12 Championship were left unaddressed and the focus was narrowed to only an isolated observation made about recruiting impact. Again, for many this is a subject of passion, and most of the arguments in my original reply to you support the fervor I and others have against Kentucky.

Nevertheless, unless and until someone can show that the game has NO impact whatsoever on recruits, we cant discount the importance regardless of degree. Ive heard several recruiting analysts express a notion which is something on the order of how one can never know which variables a recruit has in mind in making his decision, and how in toss up situations very small and seemingly insignificant things may add up to tip the scales one way or the other. I dare say your own intuition testifies to this. In any event, I imagine that disproving the proposition would be difficult if not impossible; on the other hand, in support of the affirmative one need only consider that the reputation of a program may be a factor in a college recruit's choice. As we've witnessed here in comments under articles and during live blogs, many come away with a perception of the state of the program overall due to the result of single games, most of them less consequential than a Kansas/Kentucky matchup.

Tom Jones 7 years, 4 months ago

OK, just give me SOMETHING, then. Anything. Any recruit who claimed seeing team A beat team B made them decide to attend team A over team B. Or heck...even that it had ANY impact on their decision...

Otherwise, respectfully, what are you basing this opinion on?

We just went up against UK for two very top echelon recruits and landed both of them after being beaten by UK twice three years ago and being thrashed by them last year.

Rodney Crain 7 years, 4 months ago

I agree Joe and Aaron. Excellent points!

This game is bigger than a B12 championship.

Len Shaffer 7 years, 4 months ago

"Our teams have had unprecedented success on the basketball court over the last two seasons ..."

The rest of the quote wasn't included: "except for in the tournament, of course, when we always suck."

Mick Allen 7 years, 4 months ago

Joe, I respectively disagree. While a victory over UK would be huge, it is one game, a big one game, but one game. Winning the conference for the 12th straight time would be the culmination of a season's worth of work, okay 18 games, but a more accurate reflection of the team's overall strength and consistency. Almost every team can play out their ass for one game. Another conference championship is certainly a more accurate gage of the team's strength and it's ability to deal with injuries, suspensions etc. and to demonstrate what I believe will be our great depth. How about if we do both. I would trade a win over UK for a loss in the conference if we still win the title again.

Joe Ross 7 years, 4 months ago

I cant call you wrong Mick, when the nature of the question is opinion-based. I see your respect and raise you.

Mick Allen 7 years, 4 months ago

I'm a real word smith. In my prior comment I meant respectfully not respectively Joe.

Daniel Johnson 7 years, 4 months ago

Joe you must be trolling with that post. You would traif a potential 12 year winning streak that is two years away of making history and likely to never be broken for all college bball eternity for one game against kentucky? It's not even like this is that rare of a matchup, weve played them twice in the last three years, and will play them again in the upcoming season. Get it together man.

Alan Dickey 7 years, 4 months ago

I'm not sure which I would enjoy the most: (i) winning #12 B12 championship; or (ii) beating Kentucky. But I know which of the following I would hate worse: (i) not winning #12 B12 championship; or (ii) losing to Kentucky at HOME in AFH next year. It's clearly losing to Ky at home (especially if we, otherwise, went undefeated at home next year).

Joe Ross 7 years, 4 months ago

I agree. Letting Kentucky come into Allen Fieldhouse and beating us on our own floor is not just a bad taste in the mouth. Its rotten eggs, raw garlic and horseradish in the foulest of food cocktails.

Code_2008 7 years, 4 months ago

Annnnd the chances of getting reasonably priced tickets just went out the window. Guess I'll just continue going to football games.

I'll never be able to afford these over-priced games.

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