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Finale surprise highlights Kentucky's 2016 SEC basketball schedule

08/20/2015 05:32 PM

LEXINGTON — The University of Kentucky men’s basketball team now knows the road it must take to complete back-to-back conference championships this season.

The Southeastern Conference released its 2016 league schedule on Tuesday night, and the Wildcats will open conference play with four of its first six games on the road.

Starting as it did last season, Kentucky will open conference play on Jan. 2 at home against Ole Miss before hitting the road to visit LSU and Alabama.

After returning to Rupp Arena to face Mississippi State on Jan. 12, the Wildcats will leave the Commonwealth again to for another back-to-back road test against Auburn and Arkansas.

Kentucky will get an SEC break on Jan. 30 to play powerhouse Kansas in a non-conference tilt at Allen Field House, and it a twist from tradition, the Wildcats will finish conference play on March 5 against LSU — not Florida — to end the regular season.

It’s the first time UK won’t face the Gators in the SEC finale since 2011 and only the second time since 1999.

The Wildcats will play each conference member at least once with second home-and-home games against Alabama, Florida, LSU, Tennessee, and Vanderbilt.

Click below to watch KSTV’s breakdown of Kentucky’s 2016 conference schedule, including an explanation of a power shift in the conference as league members try to keep up with the Wildcats.

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