Many analysts believe the Kentucky Wildcats will begin the 2014-2015 college basketball season ranked number one. Many of those same analysts also tab UK as a national title contender in 2015.

And national title contenders have no business "coasting" through the non-conference schedule. And since head coach John Calipari NEVER believes in coasting through the non-conference schedule, regardless of aspirations, it comes as no surprise that the Wildcats' non-con slate for the upcoming season is STELLAR.

When you count two games you KNOW the 'Cats are going to play against Florida after SEC action begins, UK is tapped to hook up with no less than six teams expected to rank in the pre-season top 10.

The Champions Classic will enter its second cycle when Kentucky takes on Kansas in Indianapolis on November 18th.

On December 5th, the Texas Longhorns invade Rupp Arena for a showdown with the 'Cats as part of the SEC/Big 12 Challenge. I love this game. It's great when the 'Cats take a step away from "usual suspect" territory. And, boy, did they ever here. Kentucky and Texas have only ever played each other once. And that was way back in 1993 when the 'Cats hooked the 'Horns 86-61 in the Maui Invitational.

The last three Saturdays in December will all feature marquee matchups as UK takes on UCLA in Chicago on the 13th, North Carolina at Rupp on the 20th, and Louisville at the Yum! Center on the 27th.

While UCLA isn't expected to be as good this year as it was last, any game between the 'Cats and the Bruins is BIG TIME. And it'll be the first matchup between these powerhouse programs since a 73-68 UCLA win at the 2006 Maui Invitational.

The rest of UK's non-conference schedule will feature Grand Canyon on November 14th, Buffalo on November 16th, Boston University on November 21st, Montana State on November 23rd, UT-Arlington on November 25th, Providence on November 30th, Eastern Kentucky on December 7th, and Columbia on December 10th.