It’s going to be a big year of basketball at Rupp Arena and not only because Kentucky’s roster is going tobe loaded. CBS Sports’ Jeff Goodman, who I like but….oh, nevermind. This isn’t one of those “I like Jeff Goodman, but…” stories. Just a regular Goodman piece. Nice. Anyway, Goodman ranks the top non-conference games of the 2011-12 season and the Cats top the list with two big-time battles at Rupp Arena.
1) North Carolina at Kentucky, Dec. 3 — Nearly everyone will have these two teams at No. 1 and No. 2 in the nation entering the season. Rematch of last year’s Elite Eight contest.
2) Louisville at Kentucky, Dec. 31 — There’s nothing like a New Year’s Eve tilt between these two hated rivals. The fan bases despise one another — and there’s no shortage of disdain between the coaches, either.
Goodman takes things a step further and gives Kentucky another spot in the top five, putting the game between them and a fading Kansas squad at the fifth slot. Here was his take on that game:
5) Kansas vs. Kentucky, Nov. 15 — This game is part of the Champions Classic — a three-year round-robin involving these two programs — as well as Michigan State and Duke. It’ll take place at Madison Square Garden this year.