Just three days before tip-off, Kentucky has announced they will be playing the North Carolina Tarheels instead of the UCLA Bruins.
Kentucky decided to switch the game because they wanted to “closely align COVID-19 testing protocols between the competing programs and their respective conferences.”
Sadly, but maybe for the good (we all know how good former Kentucky players are once they go to another school), we won't get the return game of Johnny Juzang.
The game will remain at 2 p.m. at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland aired by CBS.
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.
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.
Kentucky might be 1-4, about to face a really good UNC team, but we've never backed down from a good fight. Game on.