NCAA Basketball: Kansas at Kentucky

Kansas' 2023-24 basketball schedule was released Tuesday featuring several games against the nation's top teams. The Jayhawks open up the season in Lawrence, Kansas, on Nov. 6 against North Carolina Central and has another home game against Manhattan at Phog Allen Fieldhouse before they face their first tough test of the season at the Champions Classic against Kentucky on Nov. 14 in Chicago.

Kansas is the No. 1 ranked team in the CBS Sports Top 25 And 1 and is one of the favorites to cut down the nets this spring at the Final Four. The Jayhawks added the top transfer available in the portal in Michigan center Hunter Dickinson. Kansas also brings back three experienced starters from last season: Dajuan Harris, Kevin McCullar and KJ Adams.

Before the real games begin, Kansas has an exhibition game on the road against Illinois on Oct. 29. That game will raise money for the ongoing relief efforts after the tragic wildfires in Maui, Hawaii and will also serve as a homecoming for Kansas coach Bill Self. The preseason game was set to be a closed scrimmage between the two programs but it will now be open to the public for fans to attend.

Another intriguing matchup for Kansas is a home game against the reigning national champion, UConn. The Huskies are expected to be one of the top teams in the country despite losing Jordan Hawkins, Adama Sanogo and Andre Jackson Jr. to the NBA Draft. This game is part of the fifth annual Big East/Big 12 Battle.

Here are the top five nonconference games for Kansas this season followed by the Jayhawks' entire 2023-24 schedule. 

1. UConn

When: Dec. 1, 2023 Where: Allen Fieldhouse (Lawrence, Kansas)

UConn had one of the most dominant March Madness runs in the history of the NCAA Tournament and is back for more this season. The Huskies lost three very important players to the NBA Draft but Donovan Clingan is expected to take a massive jump this season to replace some of that production that was lost. Other players expected to make an impact are returners Tristen Newton and Alex Karaban and Rutgers transfer Cam Spencer. This game is happening four weeks after the college basketball season officially starts and should be one of the best matchups of the season. It doesn't hurt for the entertainment aspect that this is a home game for Kansas and not a neutral-site matchup.

2. Kentucky

When: Nov. 14, 2023 Where: United Center (Chicago)

This game was previewed in Kentucky's nonconference preview and it ranked as the No. 1 matchup for the Wildcats this season. If Kansas didn't have a date with the champs, this game would easily be the best matchup for both teams this season. One of the best aspects of college basketball is all the big time matchups you get during the first few weeks of the season. Kentucky isn't as strong as it once was but they have a loaded recruiting class coming in that's headlined by DJ Wagner and Justin Edwards. We will learn a lot about both teams after this team.

3. Indiana 

When: Dec. 16, 2023 Where: Assembly Hall (Bloomington, Indiana)

This will be the toughest road game Kansas has before it starts league play at the turn of the calendar year. This is a matchup of traditional blue blood powers and although Indiana isn't as dominant as it once was, Mike Woodson has the Hoosiers program back in a good place. Returning forward Malik Reneau, Oregon transfer Kel'el Ware and five-star forward Mackenzie Mgbako should help Woodson replace the void Trayce Jackson-Davis and Jalen Hood-Schifino left. The Jayhawks could be on upset alert when they travel to Bloomington.

4. Missouri

When: Dec. 9, 2023 Where: Allen Fieldhouse (Lawrence, Kansas)

How can you forget about a matchup between two former Big 12 foes? This game has been promoted as the Hy-Vee Hoops Border Showdown since 2021 and is one of the oldest rivalries in college basketball. The first game played between the two programs in hoops was in 1907 and the rivalry took a hit when Missouri departed for the SEC in 2012. The Jayhawks have won 13 of the last 15 matchups, including a blowout win on the road last season. This game will be played in Columbia next season before being shifted to a neutral site matchup in 2025 and 2026.

5. Wichita State

When: Dec. 30, 2023 Where: T-Mobile Center (Kansas City, Missouri)

Speaking of games with tradition, this is a matchup between two in-state programs that dates back 115 years. This will be the first meeting since Wichita State took down Kansas in the Sweet 16 during the 2015 NCAA Tournament. The Shockers aren't the same mid-major powerhouse that Kansas ran into during that tournament, but a neutral site game against a quality opponent should serve as one final test before Big 12 play starts.

Kansas 2023-24 schedule

Mon, Nov 6North Carolina CentralLawrence, Kansas
Fri, Nov 10ManhattanLawrence, Kansas
Tue, Nov 14vs. Kentucky (Champions Classic)Chicago
Mon, Nov 20vs. Chaminade (Maui Invitational)Honolulu
Tue, Nov 21vs. Marquette/UCLA (Maui Invitational)Honolulu
Wed, Nov 22vs. Gonzaga/Purdue/Syracuse/Tennessee (Maui Invitational)Honolulu
Tue, Nov 28Eastern IllinoisLawrence, Kansas
Fri, Dec 1UConn (Big East/Big 12 Battle)Lawrence, Kansas
Tue, Dec 5Kansas CityLawrence, Kansas
Sat, Dec 9MissouriLawrence, Kansas
Sat, Dec 16at IndianaBloomington, Indiana
Fri, Dec 22YaleLawrence, Kansas
Sat, Dec 30vs. Wichita StateKansas City, Missouri
Sat, Jan 6TCULawrence, Kansas
Wed, Jan 10at UCFOrlando, Florida
Sat, Jan 13OklahomaLawrence, Kansas
Tue, Jan 16at Oklahoma StateStillwater, Oklahoma
Sat, Jan 20at West VirginiaMorgantown, West Virginia
Mon, Jan 22CincinnatiLawrence, Kansas
Sat, Jan 27at Iowa StateAmes, Iowa
Tue, Jan 30Oklahoma StateLawrence, Kansas
Sat, Feb 3HoustonLawrence, Kansas
Mon, Feb 5at Kansas StateManhattan, Kansas
Sat, Feb 10BaylorLawrence, Kansas
Mon, Feb 12at Texas TechLubbock, Texas
Sat, Feb 17at OklahomaNorman, Oklahoma
Sat, Feb 24TexasLawrence, Kansas
Tue, Feb 27BYULawrence, Kansas
Sat, Mar 2at BaylorWaco, Texas
Tue, Mar 5Kansas StateLawrence, Kansas
Sat, Mar 9at HoustonHouston
Tue, Mar 12-Sat, Mar 16Big 12 TournamentKansas City, Missouri
Tue, Mar 19/Wed Mar 20NCAA Tournament First FourDayton, Ohio
Thu, Mar 21/Fri, Mar 22NCAA Tournament first roundTBD
Sat, Mar 23/Sun, Mar 24NCAA Tournament second roundTBD
Thu, Mar 28/Fri, Mar 29NCAA Tournament Sweet 16TBD
Sat, Mar 30/Sun, Mar 31NCAA Tournament Elite EightTBD
Sat, Apr 6NCAA Tournament Final FourGlendale, Arizona
Mon, Apr 8NCAA Tournament ChampionshipGlendale, Arizona