Prepare yourselves for another marquee showdown between the two winningest programs in the history of college basketball.
ESPN announced Thursday that Kansas and Kentucky will meet in the 2023 SEC/Big 12 Challenge, with the defending national champion Jayhawks scheduled to visit Lexington next January.
The game is slated for Jan. 28 at Rupp Arena. A tipoff time and television network will be announced at a later date. The Jayhawks last visited Rupp Arena in 2019, when they lost 71-63 in this very challenge.
En route to winning the 2022 national title, KU passed Kentucky at the top of college basketball’s all-time wins list. Kansas will open the 2022-23 season with 2,357 wins, while Kentucky sits in second place, four wins back at 2,353.
The Jayhawks’ run to the national title and Kentucky’s first-round loss to Cinderella story Saint Peter’s helped create the gap between the two rivals.
Next season’s game will mark the fifth meeting between the two blue blood programs in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge and the 13th time the Jayhawks have faced the Wildcats in Bill Self’s 20 seasons in charge of the program.
Each team has won twice in the conference challenge.
KU has won four of the last six meetings and is 7-5 against Kentucky under Self. One of those losses came last season at Allen Fieldhouse, as the Wildcats rocked the Jayhawks on the College Gameday stage, 80-62.
After the Jayhawks won the national title in April, several players and coaches talked about that loss being a turning point of sorts, with the Jayhawks learning then that they needed to approach things with a different mindset to compete with college basketball’s best.
The Jayhawks are 5-4 all-time in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge, adding wins over Florida, Tennessee and Texas A&M; to the two victories over UK.
KU’s four losses in the series came at Florida, at Tennessee and twice to Kentucky, once at home and once on the road.
The rest of the 2023 SEC/Big 12 Challenge, which pits all 10 Big 12 schools against 10 teams from the SEC is as follows:
Arkansas at Baylor
Texas at Tennessee
TCU at Mississippi State
Alabama at Oklahoma
Auburn at West Virginia
Ole Miss at Oklahoma State
Florida at Kansas State
Iowa State at Missouri
Texas Tech at LSU