Originally written on StraitPinkie.com  |  Last updated 10/28/14

NEW ORLEANS - MARCH 20: Coach John Calipari of the Kentucky Wildcats talks to his team during the second round of the 2010 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the New Orleans Arena on March 20, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Dave Martin/Getty Images)
“It’s once again an elite schedule, that’s the standard here.” John Calipari says on his Twitter account after the University of Kentucky released it’s 2013-14 Non-Conference schedule. The ‘Cats will need the skills of all 8 McDonald’s All-Americans on next year’s roster to get through some very tough early games. The first big match on the schedule is against Michigan State in Chicago on November 12th. Sparty and Tom Izzo are always a super tough bunch, and next year will be no different. The Friars of Providence will face the ‘Cats in Brooklyn on November 1st. Kentucky plays Baylor on December 6th in Cowboys Stadium. The Bears came to Rupp Arena and snapped the ‘Cats 55-game home court winning streak just last season. The first true road test will be on Tobacco Road as the ‘Cats take on Roy Williams and the Tar Heels on December 14th. Kentucky tops off their non-conference slate with Louisville coming to Rupp Arena. on December 28th. All the big games were previously announced before today, Kentucky added games with Boise State, Belmont, and Robert Morris. The Colonials punctuated the most disappointing season in recent memory by shocking the top-seeded Wildcats and sending them home in the 1st round of the NIT. The rematch is set for November 17th, and is part of the brand new “Bill Keightley Classic” in honor of the late equipment manager known as “Mr. Wildcat”. Kentucky will also play Texas-Arlington (Nov. 19), Cleveland State (Nov. 25) and Eastern Michigan (Nov. 27) in the classic at Rupp. Kentucky will play the defending NCAA Champions (Louisville), and the defending NIT Champions (Baylor), add Michigan State and North Carolina. Throw in Boise State, who is ranked #25 in the preseason. Then, you can add Belmont to the mix by saying all of those teams made the NCAA Tournament last season. The ‘Cats will face a total of seven teams that finished in the top-100 in the RPI last season.That slate is more than elite, it’s almost daunting. Here’s the full non-conference schedule: Home games in bold Nov. 1: Transylvania University (exhibition), Rupp Arena Nov. 4: Montevallo (Ala.) (exhibition), Rupp Arena Nov. 8: UNC-Asheville, Rupp Arena Nov. 10: Northern Kentucky, Rupp Arena STATE FARM CLASSIC Nov. 12: at Michigan State (United Center, Chicago) KEIGHTLEY CLASSIC (Nov. 17-27) Nov. 17: Robert Morris, Rupp Arena Nov. 19: Texas-Arlington, Rupp Arena Nov. 25: Cleveland State, Rupp Arena Nov. 27: Eastern Michigan, Rupp Arena Dec. 1: vs. Providence (Barclays Center, Brooklyn, N.Y.) Dec. 6: vs. Baylor (Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, Texas) Dec. 10: Boise State, Rupp Arena Dec. 14: at North Carolina (Chapel Hill, N.C.) Dec. 21: Belmont, Rupp Arena Dec. 28: Louisville, Rupp Arena  

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