Two matchups with Southeastern Conference foe Kentucky highlight the LSU men’s basketball team’s 2015-16 schedule released Wednesday.
LSU will host Kentucky in the second game of the conference schedule Jan. 5 and get together again in the finale of an 18-game league slate March 5 in Rupp Arena in Lexington.
The entire league schedule was announced Wednesday evening by the SEC office, while LSU also released its nonconference slate — much of which had already been known through various sources.
The first game between the Tigers and Wildcats, which will be the home league opener for Johnny Jones’ team Jan. 5, will be televised by ESPN with an 8 p.m. tipoff from the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. The March 5 rematch will be televised by CBS at 1 p.m.
LSU, which was 22-11 overall and tied for third in the SEC last season with an 11-7 mark, will open SEC play Saturday, Jan. 2 at Vanderbilt.
LSU will have home-and-home series against Texas A&M, Arkansas, Alabama, Kentucky and Florida this season. The Tigers will face the other eight teams in the 14-team league once each.
A&M, Arkansas and Alabama will be permanent twice-yearly opponents for LSU, according to a new scheduling formula adopted by the SEC, with the other two-game series rotating among the other 10 schools.
After an exhibition game with Southwest Baptist on Nov. 6, LSU will open the regular season Nov. 13 against McNeese State in the Maravich Center.
In addition to the 18-game league schedule, other highlights include two games in the Legends Classic at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, facing Marquette in the opener Nov. 23 and either North Carolina State or Arizona State the next night, LSU will play Oklahoma in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge in the PMAC on Jan. 30.
2015-16 LSU BASKETBALL SCHEDULE
All times Central, with date, opponent, tip-off and TV:
Friday, 6, SW Baptist (Exh.), TBA, None
Friday, 13, McNeese St., TBA, TBA
Monday, 16, Kennesaw St., 8 p.m., ESPNU
Thursday, 19, South Alabama, TBA, TBA
Monday, 23, Marquette*, 6 p.m., ESPN2
Tuesday, 24, TBA*, TBA, TBA
Monday, 30, at Charleston, TBA, TBA
Wednesday, 2, North Florida, TBA, TBA
Sunday, 13, at Houston, TBA, TBA
Wednesday, 16, Gardner-Webb, TBA, TBA
Saturday, 19, Oral Roberts, TBA, TBA
Tuesday, 22, American, TBA, TBA
Tuesday, 29, Wake Forest, TBA, TBA
Saturday, 2, at Vanderbilt, 8 p.m., ESPN2
Tuesday, 5, Kentucky, 8 p.m., ESPN
Saturday, 9, at Florida, TBA, CBS
Wednesday, 13, Ole Miss, 8 p.m., ESPN2
Saturday, 16, Arkansas, 7:30 p.m., SECN
Tuesday, 19, at Texas A&M, 8 p.m., ESPN
Saturday, 23, at Alabama, 1 p.m., ESPN
Tuesday, 26, Georgia, 8 p.m., TBA
Saturday, 30, Oklahoma**, TBA, TBA
Tuesday, 2, at Auburn, 6 p.m., TBA
Saturday, 6, Miss. State, 5 p.m., ESPN2
Wednesday, 10, at South Carolina, 6 p.m., ESPN2
Saturday, 13, Texas A&M, Noon, CBS
Wednesday, 17, Alabama, 8 p.m., SECN
Saturday, 20, at Tennessee, 4:30 p.m., ESPNU
Tuesday, 23, at Arkansas, 6 p.m., TBA
Saturday, 27, Florida, TBA, TBA
Tuesday, 1, Misosuri, 8 p.m., SECN
Saturday, 5, at Kentucky, 1 p.m. , CBS
9-13, SEC tournament, TBA, TBA
* Legends Classic at Brooklyn
** SEC/Big 12 Challenge
TIERS FACE MELBOURNE UNITED
LSU reached the final stop on its Australian exhibition tour Wednesday when the Tigers arrived in Melbourne for two games with Melbourne United.
LSU, which is 2-1 on its Down Under Tour, face Melbourne United at 7:30 p.m. Thursday (4:30 a.m. Baton Rouge time).
The teams will meet again at the same time Saturday in 10,500-seat Hisense Arena, which serves as one of the show courts for the Australian Open Tennis Championships.
Follow Sheldon Mickles on Twitter @MicklesAdvocate.