UK-South Florida to Meet in Hoophall Miami Invitational in 2015
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Kentucky men’s basketball team will recognize a familiar face on the opposing bench when it plays South Florida next season in the inaugural Hoophall Miami Invitational in Miami.
UK will play former assistant coach Orlando Antigua’s South Florida Bulls on Nov. 27 in a doubleheader in American Airlines Arena, home of the Miami Heat. South Florida will return the trip and play the Wildcats in Rupp Arena during the 2016-17 season.
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced the one-day doubleheader, which also features an Ohio State-Memphis matchup, on Thursday in Miami.
“The Hoophall Miami Invitational is yet another opportunity for us to reach the Big Blue Nation in another part of the country,” head coach John Calipari said. “We have the greatest fans in the college basketball, so to give our fans in Miami an opportunity to see us seemed like an easy decision for us. Not only is it a Hall of Fame event, we also get to play against Orlando, who played such an instrumental part in what we have tried to build here. We are looking forward to the trip to Miami and South Florida’s return visit in 2016.”
Next season’s UK-South Florida matchup will mark the inaugural meeting between the two schools.
Antigua, the Bulls’ head coach, served as an assistant at Kentucky under Calipari for five seasons before leaving to take the head-coaching position at South Florida. In Antigua’s five seasons at UK, the Wildcats won a national championship, went to three Final Fours and guided 19 players to the NBA Draft.
“We look forward to the challenge of playing one of the greatest programs in the history of college basketball,” Antigua said. “I was fortunate enough to spend five great seasons at Kentucky, so obviously have great respect for that program and coach John Calipari.”
The Hoophall Miami Invitational is the culmination of two separate multi-team events. Campus-round games will take place for UK, South Florida, Ohio State and Memphis in two brackets. A full schedule of those games and opponents will be released at a later date.
Tickets for the 2015 Hoophall Miami Invitational will go on sale to the general public on Jan. 31 at 10 a.m., via Ticketmaster.com.
The addition of South Florida adds to a strong nonconference slate for the Wildcats in the 2015-16 season, which already features Duke in Chicago in the Champions Classic, UCLA in Los Angeles in the first game of a home-and-home series, Louisville in Rupp Arena, and Ohio State in the CBS Sports Classic in Brooklyn, N.Y.
In 2016-17, South Florida will join a nonconference schedule for Kentucky that includes Michigan State in New York in the Champions Classic, UCLA in the second year of the home-and-home series, at Louisville, and North Carolina in Las Vegas in the CBS Sports Classic.
Top-ranked and undefeated UK will return to action on Saturday when the Cats travel to Columbia, S.C., for the first of two games vs. South Carolina this season. That game is scheduled for a noon tip on ESPN.
For the latest on the Kentucky men’s basketball team, follow @KentuckyMBB on Twitter and on the web at UKathletics.com.
About the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
Located in Springfield, Mass., the birthplace of basketball, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame promotes and preserves the game of basketball at every level – professional, collegiate, men and women. For more information on these and other upcoming events, please visit the Hall of Fame website at hoophall.com or call 1-877-4-HOOPLA.