sport

Fracture: Kentucky is playing in North Carolina, not UC this weekend

The Kentucky match against UCLA Bruins this weekend at CBS Sports Classic no longer exists. Alternatively, Wildcats Roy Williams and North Carolina Tar Heels will face Saturday 2 p.m. at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland.

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

Now UCLA will flip against North Carolina and Ohio play right after the Kentucky match at around 4:15 PM.

According to UK Athletics, a revised schedule has been created to closely align COVID-19 testing protocols between competing programs and their respective conferences.

North Carolina began to advance 4-2 and was ranked nationally in both major surveys (22nd in the Associated Press’s Top 25 and 21st in the USA Today Trainers Survey). Tar Heels lost twice to Iowa and Texas, which were ranked in the top 15 of both major polls.

Tar Heels returns three starters from last season and welcomes them into one of the nation’s top recruitment categories. Senior striker Garrison Brooks leads UNC with an average score of 11.8, and sentinels Caleb Love and RJ Davis made immediate impacts as a freshman. Love and Davis both average 11.2 points per game and lead the team in assists.

Saturday’s match will be the third between the two schools at CBS Sports Classic. The United Kingdom has won both previous meetings at this event. Wildcats defeated Tar Heels in a classic in Las Vegas in 2016 when Malik Monk set a new Kentucky student record 47 points and then beat UNC 80-72 in 2018 in Chicago as Ashton Hagans tied a school record with eight steals.

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

CBS Sports Classic annually brings together four of the nation’s most successful college basketball programs. The quartet has 26 national championships combined, with UCLA ranked (11), Kentucky (eight) and North Carolina (six) ranked first, second, and third consecutively in NCAA history. Additionally, all four programs rank in the top six in all Final Four marinas, with 65 total appearances between them (North Carolina, 20; Kentucky, 17; University of California, 17; Ohio State, 11). They are among the best college basketball programs ever, with more than 8,200 victories. The UK is # 1 of all time and UNC is # 3.

The no-conference schedule in Kentucky remains among the toughest in the country with the addition of tar heels. This will be the second AP-rated competitor the UK has faced this season. Richmond also receives votes in the AP Top 25 and is ranked in the US Today Coaches Poll. Wildcats will play Louisville on December 26 and host Texas on January 30 in a SEC / Big 12 Challenge at Rupp Arena. Both opponents are currently ranked.

The Southeastern conference schedule will not be easier for the UK. Tennessee is ranked 10th and Missouri ranked 16th among the Top 25 AP Teams. Three other teams in Florida, Georgia and Arkansas are sitting outside the top 25 and garnered votes. Kentucky plays Tennessee and Florida twice. After already playing Kansas while the Jayhawks ranked seventh in the AP Top 25 ranking and based on the current survey, the UK will have seven matches total in 2020-21 against the top 25 opponents.

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According to the NCAA Division I Council framework for scheduling this season, teams can play a maximum of 27 matches (24 games in the regular season with one multi-team event from three matches) this season. Kentucky’s pre-scheduled match against Detroit Mercy on December 15 has been postponed due to a logistics test, but schools hope to reschedule later in the season.

Wildcats’ complete list for 2020-21, with tip times and TV schedule, It can be found here. The United Kingdom will appear on national television in every match in 2020-21.

Kentucky, with one of the youngest lists in all college basketball, has knocked out 1-4 for the first time since the 1984-85 season. This team rebounded to claim the NCAA Championship and progressed to Sweet 16.

Queenie Bell

"Introvert. Avid gamer. Wannabe beer advocate. Subtly charming zombie junkie. Social media trailblazer. Web scholar."

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