Deal is done: BSU hoops headed to Kentucky

Broncos and Wildcats will play a non-conference game Dec. 10 in Lexington.

dsouthorn@idahostatesman.com © 2013 Idaho StatesmanMay 2, 2013 

Boise State wanted a road matchup against a prominent opponent. A date with college basketball's all-time winningest program and the potential preseason No. 1 team is what it will get.

The Broncos will face Kentucky at legendary Rupp Arena, the schools announced Wednesday.

A return game in Boise is not expected.

The Idaho Statesman reported April 19 that the two schools were in discussions to schedule a game. Boise State Athletic Director Mark Coyle was hired at Boise State in December of 2011 from Kentucky, where he worked in the athletic department since 2005.

Kentucky is considered a preseason favorite to be the top-ranked team in the nation to start the 2013-14 season. The Wildcats have two double-digit scorers returning - forwards Alex Poythress and Kyle Wiltjer - along with an incoming recruiting class that so far includes six of Rivals.com's top 20 prospects.

CBSSports.com has Kentucky No. 1 and Boise State No. 25 in its post-NBA Draft declaration deadline rankings for next season.

The Wildcats are coached by John Calipari, who led Kentucky to a championship in the 2012 NCAA Tournament.

Boise State, which signed coach Leon Rice to a contract extension last month, lost only senior Kenny Buckner off last season's NCAA Tournament team. The Broncos' top six scorers return.

"We want to continue to build on what coach Rice and his staff have accomplished in their time at Boise State," Coyle said in a statement. "Scheduling marquee games that will draw interest nationally is part of that process."

Boise State and Kentucky have never met.

Kentucky is the fourth SEC school the Broncos will have faced in their history - they played LSU the previous two seasons and faced Vanderbilt in 1993 and Arkansas in 1975.

The Broncos are 1-3 in those games.

Boise State said it will announce the rest of its schedule at a later date.

Rice has said the team will play non-conference games, in addition to Kentucky, at New Orleans and will host Utah, Seattle and Texas-Arlington.

The Broncos also will play three games in December's Diamond Head Classic in Hawaii.

Dave Southorn: 377-6420, Twitter: @IDS_southorn

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