Along with the rest of the nation's top programs, tonight, the University of Kentucky Wildcats will officially begin the 2012-13 college basketball season with Midnight Madness.
As the defending national champions, the Wildcats enter the season with lofty expectations despite having all of their top six scorers from 2011-12 leave for the NBA, including Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist; the top two picks of the 2012 NBA Draft.
Though they'll be a vastly different team than the one that cut down the nets in March, John Calipari's boys figure to be a good bet to make a run at the school's third straight Final Four berth in 2013.
For the Wildcats and their fans, it all starts tonight with Big Blue Madness, so here's a look at all the information you'll need for tonight's Wildcat-related events.
When: 7:30 p.m. EST
Where: Rupp Arena, Lexington, Kentucky
TV: Fox Sports South, ESPNU (check local listings)
Live Streaming: ESPN3, University of Kentucky Live Feed
At 5 p.m. EST, ESPNU will begin its coverage of Midnight Madness 2012, and will provide four hours of coverage at a variety of different schools, including Kentucky.
In addition, ESPN3 will offer streaming coverage of Big Blue Madness, live from Rupp Arena online.
On paper, the losses of Davis, Kidd-Gilchrist, Doron Lamb, Terrence Jones, Marquis Teague and Darius Miller look overwhelming, but since his arrival in Lexington, Calipari has proved more than capable of reloading his roster with the nation's best recruits year after year.
In fact, his recruiting class for the 2013-14 season is already so good that ESPN's Eamonn Brennan recently called it "arguably one of the top classes all time."
This season, the Wildcats' roster will feature four freshmen, highlighted by 6'10" Nerlens Noel, who was the nation's No. 1 recruit last year.
In addition to Noel, Calipari brought in seven-footer Willie Cauley-Stein, and the pair look to be one of the most promising front court tandems in the country.
Calipari rounded out his stellar incoming freshman class with a pair of McDonalds All-Americans in guard Archie Goodwin and forward Alex Poythress; both should be immediate impact players.
Aside from the fresh faces, the most prominent name returning from last year's national championship team is sophomore forward Kyle Wiltjer—who averaged 5 points per game in a more limited role for the Wildcats in 2011-12.
Though it'll be a team lead by a collection of young stars, this isn't Calipari's first rodeo, and the Wildcats will be contenders come March.
Judging by his recruiting class, by this time next year, Calipari will have added a few more names to his long list of NBA graduates since taking over at Kentucky.
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