Kentucky Wildcats Overview

Fast facts

League: Division I (NCAA)

Head Coach: John Calipari

Team Mascot: Blue, Scratch, and The Wildcat

Year Opened: 1976

Capacity: 20545

City / State: Lexington / Kentucky

Rivalries & Top Games to Attend

Kentucky vs Louisville

Rival Team: Louisville Cardinals

College basketball is king in Kentucky, so if shouldn’t surprise you that there is a great deal of animosity between the two largest programs in the state. The Kentucky-Louisville rivalry is one of the best in college basketball and was even ranked the third best rivalry in college basketball by college basketball analyst Dick Vitale. Kentucky and Louisville are always among the best teams in the country, so you’ll be in for a treat when attending a Kentucky-Louisville game.

Kentucky vs Tennessee

Rival Team: Tennessee Volunteers

The Kentucky-Tennessee basketball rivalry has been going strong since 1910 and is one of the fiercest basketball rivalries in the SEC. The two schools match up in a variety of sports, but few sports matter as much to the fans as the basketball contests so make sure to be in attendance when the Vols come to Rupp Arena.


Kentucky vs Florida

Rival Team: Florida Gators

While the Kentucky may have a large lead in the overall series, there is usually a lot at stake when these two SEC rivals get together. The rivalry has produced many dramatic moments including the Gators 61-60 victory over the Wildcats in the 2014 SEC Conference Championship Game, so make sure to be in attendance when Florida comes to town.


Kentucky vs Indiana

Rival Team: Indiana Hoosiers

The rivalry between Kentucky and Indiana began with a football game in 1893, however, over the years the basketball rivalry between these two powerhouses has overshadowed the football one. The two schools are two of the most decorated programs in college basketball with the Hoosiers having won five national championships and the Wildcats claiming eight. The rivalry hasn’t been a regular fixture since 2011, so you’ll want to be there when these two get together next.

Kentucky vs North Carolina

Rival Team: North Carolina Tar Heels

Kentucky and North Carolina are two of the winningest programs in college basketball, so there is always a lot at stake when these two schools clash. The two schools have played a regular series sporadically and while they aren’t playing regularly right now if you get the chance to see these two basketball titans play don’t miss it.

Kentucky Wildcats Stadium Guide

In Game

Rupp Arena is the largest basketball-specific arena in the country and home to one of the most incredible atmospheres in college basketball. UK fans are absolutely rabid when it comes to supporting their team, which you can see on game days as not only do the Wildcats fill the largest arena in the country to capacity but exceed it. The fan support inside Rupp Arena is amazing, and alone makes the trip to Lexington worth it for anyone looking to experience a great college basketball game.

In addition to the outstanding fan support found at Rupp Arena, you’ll also see tons of UK basketball pride and history on display inside the arena. Countless banners hanging from the rafter honor the best teams, coaches, players, and even announcers in UK basketball history. You’ll also be able to walk on the arena’s original court, which is located in the main entryway.

UK’s basketball is also top notch as well since the Wildcats consistently put one of the best teams in the nation on the court year after year. Even in a down year, you’ll be treated to watching a competitive side that could knock off any opponent that makes their way to Rupp Arena.

After the game, make sure to stop by some of the best local spots Lexington has to offer. Rupp Arena is located in downtown Lexington, so there are plenty of bars and restaurants within walking distance. Make sure to stop by McCarthy’s Irish Bar, Tolly-Ho, or the World’s Famous Two Key Tavern if you want to enjoy some local favorites.

You’ll have an excellent time attending a Kentucky Wildcats game where you’ll encounter one of the best experiences in college basketball.

Things to check out


Kentucky is the most decorated program in college basketball, so you better believe that you’ll see a slew of banners hanging from the rafters of Rupp Arena. The banners honor all of the school’s championship-winning and Final Four teams as well as many of UK’s best players and coaches, so make sure to check them out.

Rupp Arena Floor

Inside Rupp Arena’s main entrance is the arena’s original floor. When you walk into the arena you’ll be walking on the same floor as many great Kentucky players of the past, so take a second to take it all in.

The Wildcat & Scratch

The Wildcat and Scratch are the two costumed mascots at the UK.These two love to entertain and pump up the crowd at Wildcat games. The Wildcat dates back all the way to 1976 and Scratch provides a youthful and kid-friendly persona who is great for fans of all ages.

Spelling out K-E-N-T-U-C-K-Y

One of the best parts of any Kentucky basketball game is when the cheer team spells out K-E-N-T-U-C-K-Y at center court. The atmosphere is incredible when everyone in attendance chants each letter and best of all the Y is made by a famous UK alumni, so join in on the chant to get the most out of your trip to Lexington.

UK Flag and Pyramid

The crowd goes crazy when the UK Flag is raised, and the cheerleaders go into their pyramid formation, so don’t miss it. The unveiling of the UK Flag is a great part of any Kentucky basketball game, and a must see for anyone visiting Rupp Arena.

Big Blue Madness

If you’re in the Lexington area right before the season starts, make sure to be in attendance for Big Blue Madness. The free Midnight Madness event kicks off the Kentucky basketball season and fans camp out for days to get their first look at the team, so join in on the fun.

Cheer Squad

Kentucky has one of the best cheer squads in the nation and have won an incredible 19 UCA National Cheerleading Championships. These men and women do an outstanding job of pumping up the crowds at Rupp Arena, so come prepared to get loud when attending a Wildcats basketball game.

Senior Day

While just about every school has a senior day celebration, few are as famous as the one at Kentucky. At Kentucky, every seniors run through a picture of themselves before the game giving an extra special feeling to the occasion. Make sure to attend senior day, so you can see your favorite graduating players play their last home game for the Wildcats.

The eRUPPtion Zone

The student section at Kentucky is known as the eRUPPtion Zone and is one of the loudest students sections in the country. You can’t miss the eRUPPtion Zone when attending a UK game as they help provide one of the best in-game atmospheres you’ll find anywhere in college basketball.

Fight Songs

  1. On, on, U of K

    On, on, U of K, we are right for the fight today,
    Hold that ball and hit that line;
    Ev’ry Wildcat star will shine;
    We’ll fight, fight, fight, for the blue and white
    As we roll to that goal, Varsity,
    And we’ll kick, pass and run, ’till the battle is won,
    And we’ll bring home the victory.

    (Repeat Verse) 

  2. Alma Mater

    Hail Kentucky, Alma Mater!
    Loyal sons and daughters sing;
    sound her praise with voice united;
    to the breeze her colors fling.
    To the blue and white be true;
    badge triumphant age on age.
    Blue the sky that o’er us bends;
    white Kentucky’s stainless page.

  3. Kentucky Fight

    (Normal Verse) 
    Kentucky! We will beat the foe!
    Kentucky! Onward we will go!
    Kentucky! We all hail to thee,
    and victors we will be today!
    Rah! Rah! Rah!

    (Repeat Verse, Then Yell)

    (Football Verse) 
    Kentucky! Hit that line real hard!
    Kentucky! Fight for ev’ry yard!
    And you’ll win for the Blue and White!
    So yea! you Wildcats
    fight! fight! fight!

    (Repeat Verse, Then Yell)

    (Basketball Verse) 
    Kentucky! Dribble down the floor
    Kentucky! Fight for ev’ry score!
    And you’ll win for the Blue and White!
    So yea! you Wildcats
    fight! fight! fight!

    (Repeat Verse, Then Yell)

  4. My Old Kentucky Home

    Played before every Kentucky home game

    The sun shines bright in My Old Kentucky Home,
    ‘Tis summer, the people are gay;
    The corn-top’s ripe and the meadow’s in the bloom
    While the birds make music all the day.

    The young folks roll on the little cabin floor,
    All merry, all happy and bright;
    By ‘n’ by hard times comes a knocking at the door,
    Then My Old Kentucky Home, good night!

    Weep no more my lady
    Oh weep no more today;
    We will sing one song
    For My Old Kentucky Home
    For My Old Kentucky Home, far away.

  5. Go Big Blue!

    Go big blue!

    Go big blue!

    Go big blue!

  6. C-A-T-S!




Kentucky Wildcats Bars & Restaurants

  1. Sawyer’s Downtown

    beer burger

    Chili, burger bar & other American classics served in a bright, casual space with neon decorations.

    140 W Main St, Lexington, KY 40507, USA

    Bar website

    american - $$

  2. Saul Good Restaurant & Pub

    Saul Good Restaurant and Pub

    Hip local chain serving pizzas, burgers & hearty entrees, plus global beers & cocktails.

    3801 Mall Rd, Lexington, KY 40503, USA

    Bar website

    american - pizza - $$

  3. Bluegrass Tavern

    Bluegrass Tavern

    We have more KY Bourbons than anyone....period.

    115 Cheapside, Lexington, KY 40507, USA


    Bar website

    american - $

  4. Paddock Bar and Patio

    Paddock Bar and Patio

    Divey, dicey, smiley, funny, , bourbon laced accepting, , pool playing, jukebox laying, beer dipping, bar...

    319 S Limestone, Lexington, KY 40508, USA


    Bar website

    american - $

  5. James E Pepper Distillery

    cocktail drink

    Moonshine in historic downtown Athens is the home of the famous Moonshine Mason drink.

    1228 Manchester St, Lexington, KY 40504, USA


    Bar website

    american - $

  6. West Sixth Brewing

    West Sixth Brewing

    A taproom and beer garden where the beer list is never the same but that is always local.

    501 W 6th St, Lexington, KY 40508, USA


    Bar website

    american - $

  7. Charlie Brown’s Restaurant

    Charlie Browns Restaurant

    A Lexington and Chevy Chase tradition for over 30 years!

    816 Euclid Ave, Lexington, KY 40502, USA


    Bar website

    american - $$

  8. Pazzo’s Pizza Pub

    Pazzos Pizza Pub

    Pazzo’s is a sprawling 300-seat pizza pub right across from the University of Kentucky.

    385 S Limestone, Lexington, KY 40508, USA


    Bar website

    pizza - $$

  9. Tin Roof

    Tin Roof beer

    The tasty food, fun, eclectic environment, community of Regulars and friendly Crew have established the Roof as the place to be for musicians and non-musicians alike.

    303 S Limestone, Lexington, KY 40508, USA


    Bar website

    american - $

  10. Bigg Blue Martini

    Bigg Blue Martini

    Bigg Blue Martini has become a well established, Kentucky-favorite martini bar for its amazing atmosphere and drinks.

    369 W Vine St, Lexington, KY 40507, USA


    Bar website

    american - $$

  11. Two Keys Tavern

    Two Keys Tavern

    A great place to watch a UK game, hang out with friends and drink cold beers!

    333 S Limestone, Lexington, KY 40508, USA


    Bar website

    american - $

  12. Lynagh’s Irish Pub

    Lynaghs Irish Pub

    Lynagh's, located just off UK Campus, has been a staple of Lexington dining, nightlife, and entertainment for over 35 years.

    384 Woodland Ave, Lexington, KY 40508, USA


    Bar website

    american - $

  13. Winchell’s Restaurant and Bar

    Winchells Restaurant and Bar

    Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, along with a huge variety of specials. Add 30 flat screen TV’s, and you have a recipe for the perfect place to watch your favorite team.

    348 Southland Dr, Lexington, KY 40503, USA


    Bar website

    american - sportsbar - $$

  14. Windy Corner Market

    Windy Corner Market

    Windy Corner’s menu features Po-Boy sandwiches, burgers, salads, seafood, breakfast, bakery goodies, soft-serve ice cream and more.

    4595 Bryan Station Rd, Lexington, KY 40516, USA


    Bar website

    american - $$

  15. Alfalfa Restaurant

    breakfast Suzis Place

    Keeping it local, keeping Lexington nourished, and keeping it weird!

    141 E Main St, Lexington, KY 40507, USA


    Bar website

    american - $$

  16. Ramsey’s Diner

    Ramseys Diner

    Ramsey’s has a full selection of sandwiches, salads and serves breakfast all day. Ramsey’s has been noted as having the best hot brown in the Bluegrass.

    151 W Zandale Dr, Lexington, KY 40503, USA


    Bar website

    american - $$

  17. Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen

    Cheddars Scratch Kitchen

    It’s the right way, not the easy way, because it tastes better that way.

    3604 Walden Dr, Lexington, KY 40517, USA


    Bar website

    american - $$

  18. Spalding’s Bakery

    Spaldings Bakery

    Spalding's offers filled doughnuts, cake doughnuts, cinnamon rolls, brownies, cakes, and cupcakes that'll keep you wanting more!

    760 Winchester Rd, Lexington, KY 40505, USA


    Bar website

    cafe - $

  19. Malone’s


    Known for USDA Prime Beef, an extensive wine list and a relaxed atmosphere, Malone’s is the perfect place for a business luncheon or family celebration.

    3347 Tates Creek Rd, Lexington, KY 40502, USA


    Bar website

    american - steakhouse - $$$

  20. Wallace Station Deli and Bakery

    Wallace Station Deli and Bakery

    Wallace Station is a scenic stop for homemade sandwiches, soups, salads, an irresistible bakery case and breakfast.

    3854 Old Frankfort Pike, Versailles, KY 40383, USA


    Bar website

    american - $$

  21. Tolly-Ho

    Tolley Ho

    Tolly-Ho is the 24/7 hangout in the heart of the campus area. From Burgers, Cheese Fries, and Shakes to Omelets, French Toast and Hashbrowns, Tolly-Ho has something for everyone.

    606 S Broadway, Lexington, KY 40508, USA


    Bar website

    american - $

  22. Sidebar Grill

    burger BoomHouse Restaurant

    Awesome ambience and amazingly good food!

    147 N Limestone, Lexington, KY 40507, USA


    Bar website

    american - $