Kentucky basketball’s Big Blue Madness date is set. There won’t be a campout this year.

A date has been set for this year’s Big Blue Madness, the annual tip-off event for Kentucky’s basketball season.

The Wildcats’ men’s and women’s teams will be in Rupp Arena on Oct. 13 for Madness, which will be the first major opportunity for UK fans to see the Cats on the court ahead of the 2023-24 season.

Tickets for Big Blue Madness will be distributed exclusively online at and through the Ticketmaster app starting at 8 p.m. EDT on Sept. 29, according to UK’s announcement Thursday afternoon. Tickets to the event will once again be free, but there’s a major change to the leadup to Madness this time around: fans won’t be permitted to camp outside of Memorial Coliseum, as has been the custom in years past.

UK said in its announcement that there will be no campout or in-person ticket distribution this year due to the ongoing renovation of Memorial Coliseum. Online orders will have a “minimal service fee” attached, with a limit of two tickets per household. All duplicate orders will automatically be canceled, according to UK.

The event is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m., and it will be televised on SEC Network.

Kentucky head coach John Calipari greets the crowd during Big Blue Madness in 2019.
Kentucky head coach John Calipari greets the crowd during Big Blue Madness in 2019.

John Calipari’s program is going through another period of major roster turnover heading into the 2023-24 campaign, with only three scholarship players returning from last season’s team and nine new Wildcats expected to be on the squad.

The UK men’s team will be headlined by the nation’s No. 1-ranked recruiting class, a group that features a total of eight freshmen, led by projected NBA lottery picks Justin Edwards and D.J. Wagner, along with fellow McDonald’s All-Americans Aaron Bradshaw and Reed Sheppard, plus five-star prospect Rob Dillingham and late additions Jordan Burks, Joey Hart and Zvonimir Ivišić. (Ivišić — a 7-foot-2 post player from Croatia — has not yet arrived in Lexington.)

West Virginia transfer Tre Mitchell — a fifth-year forward — is also a UK newcomer this season, joining returning scholarship players Antonio Reeves, Ugonna Onyenso and Adou Thiero.

The Cats finished 22-12 last season, losing to Kansas State in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. UK is generally projected as a top-20 team to start the 2023-24 season.

The Kentucky women will attempt to get back to the NCAA Tournament this season after missing the March Madness field in 2023 for only the second time since 2010. UK had a 12-19 mark and 2-14 record in the Southeastern Conference last season.

Coach Kyra Elzy is entering her fourth year in charge of the program, and she’ll get back several contributors from last season, including Maddie Scherr, Ajae Petty, Eniya Russell, Amiya Jenkins and Nyah Leveretter, who is recovering from March knee surgery. Elzy’s group of newcomers features freshmen Jordy Griggs and Janaé Walker, along with former Kentucky Miss Basketball Brooklynn Miles, who spent the past two seasons at Tennessee.

Big Blue Madness is also a major weekend on the recruiting calendar for both programs, and the Wildcats are already lining up some high-profile prospects for visits around the event.

Full 2023-24 regular-season schedules for both the UK men’s and women’s teams were released last week.

The 2023-24 SEC men’s basketball schedule is set. Here’s what Kentucky’s path looks like.

Why isn’t UK basketball commit Zvonimir Ivišić on campus yet? UK releases an explanation.

The Kentucky basketball schedule is out. Here’s what you need to know on all 26 opponents.

Kentucky basketball announces 2023-24 non-conference schedule. Who will the Cats play?

What’s the latest with Aaron Bradshaw? Star recruit shows up at Oscar Tshiebwe’s camp.

Sports betting will begin this week in Kentucky. Here are several terms you should know.