CLEVELAND (LEX 18) — The Kentucky men’s basketball team will play North Carolina on Saturday in the CBS Sports Classic in place of the originally scheduled matchup with UCLA. The game will remain at 2 p.m. at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland with CBS still on the call.
UCLA will flip with North Carolina and play Ohio State at approximately 4:15 p.m. The revised schedule was created to more closely align COVID-19 testing protocols between the competing programs and their respective conferences.
North Carolina is off to a 4-2 start and ranked nationally in both major polls (No. 22 in the Associated Press Top 25 and No. 21 in the USA Today Coaches Poll). The Tar Heels’ two losses were to Iowa and Texas, who are both ranked in the top 15 of both major polls.
Saturday’s matchup will mark the third between the two schools in the CBS Sports Classic. UK won both prior meetings in the event. The Wildcats defeated the Tar Heels in a classic in Las Vegas in 2016 when Malik Monk scored a Kentucky freshman record 47 points and then bested UNC 80-72 in 2018 in Chicago with Ashton Hagans tying a school record with eight steals.
All-time, UK trails the series vs. North Carolina 24-16. Kentucky has won three of four overall vs. the Tar Heels, although UNC holds a 12-6 edge when the game is played at a neutral site.
Per the NCAA Division I Council’s framework for scheduling this season, teams can play a maximum of 27 games (24 regular-season games with one three-game multi-team event) this season. Kentucky’s previously scheduled game vs. Detroit Mercy for Dec. 15 has been postponed due to testing logistics, but the schools hope to reschedule later in the season.
Kentucky, with one of the youngest rosters in all of college basketball, is off to a 1-4 start for the first time since the 1984-85 season. That team rebounded to make the NCAA Tournament and advanced to the Sweet 16.