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BREAKING: Kentucky to play North Carolina, not UCLA this weekend

Kentucky’s matchup against the UCLA Bruins this weekend in the CBS Sports Classic is no more. Instead, the Wildcats will take on Roy Williams and the North Carolina Tar Heels on Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland.

Same time, same place, same channel, new opponent.

Now, UCLA will flip with North Carolina and play Ohio State immediately following the Kentucky game at approximately 4:15 p.m.

According to UK Athletics, 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.

The Tar Heels return three starters from a season ago and welcomed in one of the top recruiting classes in the country. Senior forward Garrison Brooks leads UNC with an 11.8 scoring average and guards Caleb Love and RJ Davis have made immediate impacts as freshmen. Love and Davis are both averaging 11.2 points per game and lead the team in assists.

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.

UK’s two wins vs. North Carolina are the Tar Heels’ only losses in the CBS Sports Classic. North Carolina leads the four schools with a 4-2 record. Kentucky and Ohio State are each 3-3 and UCLA is 2-4 in the event.

The CBS Sports Classic annually brings together four of the nation’s most successful college basketball programs. The quartet owns a combined 26 national championships, with UCLA (11), Kentucky (eight) and North Carolina (six) ranking first, second and third, respectively, in NCAA history. Additionally, all four programs rank in the top six in all time Final Four berths, compiling 65 total appearances between them (North Carolina, 20; Kentucky, 17; UCLA, 17; Ohio State, 11). They are among college basketball’s all-time winningest programs, combining for more than 8,200 victories. UK is No. 1 all-time and UNC is No. 3.

Kentucky’s nonconference schedule remains among the most difficult in the country with the addition of the Tar Heels. This will mark the second AP ranked opponent UK has faced this season. Richmond is also receiving votes in the AP Top 25 and is ranked in the USA Today Coaches Poll. The Wildcats will play Louisville on Dec. 26 and host Texas on Jan. 30 in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge in Rupp Arena. Both opponents are currently ranked.

The Southeastern Conference schedule will get no easier for UK. Tennessee, at No. 10, and Missouri, at No. 16, are ranked among the AP Top 25. Three more teams in Florida, Georgia and Arkansas sit just outside the top 25 and received votes. Kentucky plays Tennessee and Florida twice. After already playing Kansas while the Jayhawks were ranked No. 7 in the AP Top 25 and based on the current poll, UK will have seven total matchups in 2020-21 against top-25 opponents.

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.

The Wildcats’ full 2020-21 slate, with tip times and the TV schedule, can be found here. UK will be featured on national television in every game in 2020-21.

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.

Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

55 Comments for BREAKING: Kentucky to play North Carolina, not UCLA this weekend



  1. BBN4LIFE03
    2:52 pm December 16, 2020 Permalink

    Of course this happens but it is an opportunity for our guys to show what we got



    • Bluenblood
      8:12 pm December 16, 2020 Permalink

      Seen UNC twice and 5hey will beat our azzzzz unless we step uo. Would be a good win for us



  2. BlueBanker18
    2:55 pm December 16, 2020 Permalink

    Yeah let’s give Ol’ Roy another win. It was such a pleasant experience last time his team beat us.



  3. gacat123
    2:56 pm December 16, 2020 Permalink

    Ouch



  4. GucciOverJeezy
    2:57 pm December 16, 2020 Permalink

    We do not lead the series vs. North Carolina. That, I can promise.



    • Jack Pilgrim
      3:05 pm December 16, 2020 Permalink

      UK’s press release was incorrect, I updated the article.



  5. Realme
    3:01 pm December 16, 2020 Permalink

    Oh hooray. That’s great. So pumped.



  6. xmanii
    3:03 pm December 16, 2020 Permalink

    I didn’t think we had a winning record against North Carolina?



  7. ClutchCargo
    3:09 pm December 16, 2020 Permalink

    Well, at least we’re still the early game. Squeezing lemons here…



  8. millertim
    3:14 pm December 16, 2020 Permalink

    UPSET ALERT—- CATS will win this game by 4 points—- (63-59)



    • Bluehender
      3:44 pm December 16, 2020 Permalink

      Hooray…a positive comment. Go Cats!!



  9. RealCatsFan
    3:19 pm December 16, 2020 Permalink

    Wonderful, they get to play us at our lowest point in years. Fokkers should be sitting out of any and all competition for about the next 5 years. UNCheat.



  10. Mr.Incognito
    3:21 pm December 16, 2020 Permalink

    2020 sucks, losing to UCLA was going to be bad enough



  11. CahillsCrossingNT
    3:23 pm December 16, 2020 Permalink

    Wow. This will get ugly fast.



  12. Leonard Washington
    3:27 pm December 16, 2020 Permalink

    Watched UNC vs Iowa game. UNC has some grown ass men across their front line, looks almost like a football team. We better get tough quick or we’re going to lose by 30.



  13. secrick
    3:31 pm December 16, 2020 Permalink

    I don’t get why the change, someone help me understand it. The covid thing didn’t make sense to me.



    • Leonard Washington
      3:39 pm December 16, 2020 Permalink

      I think it’s because the Pac 10 and Big 10 have tougher COVID testing standards than the rest of the country. I could be wrong, but it was the case for football.



    • secrick
      3:49 pm December 16, 2020 Permalink

      Thanks Leonard that helps .



    • Keets
      3:49 pm December 16, 2020 Permalink

      One’s arbitrary protocol and risk threshold is arbitrarily deemed less safe and appropriate than another’s arbitrary protocol and risk threshold. Make sense?



    • secrick
      3:56 pm December 16, 2020 Permalink

      Yes Keets it does



    • chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door
      10:21 am December 18, 2020 Permalink

      SCIENCE!



  14. lexslamman
    3:38 pm December 16, 2020 Permalink

    1-5, here we come. Should just cancel non-conference games.



    • danielscott52
      9:33 pm December 16, 2020 Permalink

      You just be a miserable person to be around



  15. NYCWildcat
    3:42 pm December 16, 2020 Permalink

    Karma owes us twenty straight victories over UNC.



  16. Section233
    3:48 pm December 16, 2020 Permalink

    Go Big Blue!



  17. Johnnycat
    3:48 pm December 16, 2020 Permalink

    I like it. Bring ’em all on!! The only way these young kitty cats can get better is to play good teams. Granted, they sure could use some confidence boosting first with an easy win, but no better way to get it in spades than to beat one of the all time heavyweights in a prime-time matchup….but in front of no fans. 🙁



  18. Section233
    3:48 pm December 16, 2020 Permalink

    Make sure Allen gets on the bus and let him play



    • secrick
      3:51 pm December 16, 2020 Permalink

      Not going to happen, Cal doesn’t play Ky guys.Allen turns the ball over comes out. Boston turns the ball over 5 times stays in.



    • Section233
      3:55 pm December 16, 2020 Permalink

      Betcha a dollar Allen starts and BJ doesn’t



    • secrick
      3:57 pm December 16, 2020 Permalink

      That’s a bet.



    • Johnnycat
      3:57 pm December 16, 2020 Permalink

      Come on now…I know he can shoot, but man, he is a little clumsy, slow-footed and likely the worst defender on the team. It’s definitely that more than him being a little ol’ Kentucky boy.



    • Section233
      4:00 pm December 16, 2020 Permalink

      Worst defender on the team. Com’on man! Gotta be Fletcher



    • secrick
      4:04 pm December 16, 2020 Permalink

      Slow footed and clumsy, sounds like me. Hide him in the zone, we played a little zone the other day. Listen the kid missed a three pointer and Cal throws his clip board.



  19. Section233
    3:49 pm December 16, 2020 Permalink

    Wait! Breaking news. Remember how WKU punked is. Heard Johnny Juzang did the same thing and Cal got scared



  20. Johnnycat
    3:53 pm December 16, 2020 Permalink

    Man…this team really needed Keon for this early stretch of games with now another brutal game versus a big physical team. His absence and the slow emergence of Boston/Askew really are defining this early season in a bad bad way.



    • kuhlkat
      2:07 am December 17, 2020 Permalink

      North Carolina owns us. This is gonna be embarrassing as hell.



  21. secrick
    4:09 pm December 16, 2020 Permalink

    What’s worse being the worst defender on the team but the best shooter and playing zero mins or being the worst shooter on the team and pretty good defender and playing 35 mins. Allen vs Askew.



  22. Section233
    4:11 pm December 16, 2020 Permalink

    Yeah what’s up with throwing the clipboard? Has he done that in past seasons? He’s freaking loosing it !



    • secrick
      4:15 pm December 16, 2020 Permalink

      Never seen him throw it before but not sure.



  23. yoshukai
    4:13 pm December 16, 2020 Permalink

    Keon averaged 4 points and 3 rebounds a game last year . He is not our savior.



    • Section233
      4:17 pm December 16, 2020 Permalink

      Those stats would make him fifth on the team in scoring and like third in rebounds



  24. Johnnycat
    4:29 pm December 16, 2020 Permalink

    Keon’s strength, size and physical maturity though would be huge right now, even if his offensive game might resemble EJ Year 2 more than say PJ at year 2.
    Remember for pro day how Boston (and a couple of others) could only bench 185 once?!….versus like Sarr who was at near 20 reps. That is the difference right now why UK is getting man handled (and why Boston is not performing). Several of these rooks just getting physically whipped by older dudes.



  25. secrick
    4:34 pm December 16, 2020 Permalink

    Ok i know i have been gripping a lot on this but GO CATS kick some tar hell ass.



  26. mashman 93
    4:54 pm December 16, 2020 Permalink

    Just win baby!!!! GO CATS!!!



  27. TBW3011
    5:11 pm December 16, 2020 Permalink

    Less time for Cal to prepare. Advantage Kentucky



    • Bluehender
      5:12 pm December 16, 2020 Permalink

      Lol…



    • bosch8184
      5:16 pm December 16, 2020 Permalink

      LOL. Wisconsin game plan agrees with this statement.



  28. T-Town Cat
    8:20 pm December 16, 2020 Permalink

    I hope we win, because if we go 1-7 in non-Conference games, we have to go 13-5 in the SEC to even be considered for the NIT. I can’t believe I would have ever thought about typing that sentence.



    • mashman 93
      8:37 pm December 16, 2020 Permalink

      Winning the SEC Tournament would get us in. Just trying to think positive.



  29. Tom Bombadil
    9:03 pm December 16, 2020 Permalink

    Dang…. I definitely wanted to see Johnny Juzang play Kentucky. Something was going to give on that game…Johnny was either going to lite us up or lay bricks…. Somebody was going to crack either Cal or Juzang. I soooo much wanted to see a former UK player that transferred go up against the Cats!



  30. W.C.
    10:04 pm December 16, 2020 Permalink

    Is the “Roofer” going to be one of the Referees ? Which teams are now safer against Covid19 and which are not ?



  31. JT55
    10:08 pm December 16, 2020 Permalink

    UNC is going to beat the brakes off of UK. Then we’ll get to listen to Cal try to spin that the loss is a good thing. What a joke.



  32. kuhlkat
    2:07 am December 17, 2020 Permalink

    North Carolina owns us. This is gonna be embarrassing as hell.



  33. tmcclan16
    6:18 am December 17, 2020 Permalink

    This season is over and this team sucks. Can’t wait to do it all again next year when all these guys leave and the new bunch comes in. Same BS every year! 1-5 players first!



  34. WatchutalkinboutWillis
    7:57 am December 17, 2020 Permalink

    I would rather play UCLA but I would rather lose to UNC and I would rather beat UNC. So Go Cats!