Kentucky to play Florida, Tennessee, and Vandy twice each season

05/30/2015 05:28 PM

DESTIN, FL — A game in Knoxville, but not in Lexington? Meeting at Rupp, but not at Memorial?

The Southeastern Conference righted a wrong on Thursday when it released its new basketball scheduling format for the 2015-16 season, expanding the number of permanent opponents on each team’s schedule from one to three.

Permanent opponents play each other twice a year in home-and-home series. Starting next season, Kentucky’s annual partners will be Florida, Tennessee, and Vanderbilt.

The Gators were UK’s only permanent opponent the last three seasons.

The Wildcats will play each of the other 10 conference teams once a year, too, rotating between home and away games on an annual basis.

When the SEC expanded to 14 teams in 2012 by adding Texas A&M and Missouri, conference games increased from 16 to 18 a season, eliminating divisional play.

In response, the league assigned each member one permanent opponent — the only team it would play twice a season in a home-and-home series — and Florida was paired with Kentucky.

KSTV discussed the benefits of the permanent opponent expansion on Friday’s show, explaining how it will foster rivalries and increased competition between teams.


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