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Rupp Arena counting down to Big Blue Madness

Celebration, first practice set for Oct. 12

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 26, 2012) — Seventy-eight days and counting!

Football season hasn’t begun yet, but college basketball is on Rupp Arena’s mind. The arena is counting down to this year’s Big Blue Madness, the University of Kentucky men and women’s first open practice of the season.

Several times a week, Rupp Arena’s Facebook page posts a new photo with the phrase “Countdown to Madness.” Wednesday’s photo features the recording artist Drake, dressed in UK blue.

The page also invites fans to “Join the countdown! Use hashtag #Countdown2Madness on Instagram/Twitter or share on Facebook.”

Visit Rupp Arena on Facebook.

The annual Big Blue Madness event, a combined Wildcat celebration and first-look at the teams, is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 12.

For the men’s team, it will be followed by the Blue-White Scrimmage on Wednesday, Oct. 24,  and exhibition games against Northwood, Nov. 1, and Transylvania, Nov. 5.

The schedule features a season-opening game against Maryland on Nov. 9, opening the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., as a part of the Barclays Center Classic, followed by a Nov. 13 matchup against Duke in the Georgia Dome in the Champions Classic.

The Wildcats open the home portion of their schedule on Nov. 16 with three straight home games against Lafayette College (Pa.), Morehead State (Nov. 21) and Long Island University (Nov. 23). All three games are a part of the Barclays Center Classic.

Kentucky returns to South Bend, Ind., for the first time since the 2008-09 season on Nov. 29 to take on Notre Dame in the SEC/Big East Challenge. The Wildcats will return home for five straight games beginning with the Baylor Bears on Dec. 1, followed by home games against Samford (Dec. 4), Portland (Dec. 8), Lipscomb (Dec. 15) and Marshall (Dec. 22).

The annual UK-UofL game will close out the 2012 calendar on Dec. 29 in Louisville. The Wildcats will ring in the New Year on Jan. 2 hosting Eastern Michigan in UK’s final non-conference tune-up before Southeastern Conference play begins Jan. 8-10.

The SEC schedule has not yet been released.