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Kansas basketball to play at Kentucky in 2023 SEC/Big 12 Challenge

Kansas coach Bill Self yells to his team during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Kentucky in Lexington, Ky., Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019. Kentucky won 71-63. (AP Photo/James Crisp)

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


Robert Brock

SEC. **YAWN** Boring. The Jayhawks will get pounded again because of sheer boredom.

It would be fun to drop this game and, instead, play a game against Gonzaga in Spokane. Exciting. Interesting.

2 weeks, 4 days ago


Dirk Medema

My guess is they will be amped as long as we have the most wins. Not sure if any fans will have signs regarding relative winning %.

2 weeks, 4 days ago


Rodney Crain

Dirk I would love to debate how math works with you, but I think that ship has sailed.

No worries I am sure someone helps you balance your checkbook.

2 weeks, 4 days ago


Suzi Marshall

The 'Hawks play the Zags in Lawrence in November.

2 weeks, 4 days ago


Rodney Crain

Will be very interesting to see how Coach handles all the changes to the roster. There are some serious tests early in our schedule.

2 weeks, 4 days ago