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Kentucky, UCLA, North Carolina, Ohio State to Play in CBS Sports Classic; SEC/Big 12 Matchups Announced

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UCLA, Kentucky, North Carolina and Ohio State will participate in the CBS Sports Classic across the next three seasons.

The event debuts at the United Center in Chicago on Dec. 20. North Carolina will take on Ohio State at 1 p.m. ET, followed by UCLA vs. Kentucky at 3:30 p.m. ET.

The event will move to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Dec. 19, 2015 and will travel to Las Vegas in Dec. 2016.

“This event will feature programs that represent 25 national championships, which is remarkable,” UK head coach John Calipari said. “Not only that, some of the best fan bases in college basketball will have the opportunity to see us play in three major venues against some of the top programs in the country. We’re excited to be part of an event of this caliber for the next three seasons.”

“UCLA versus Kentucky at the United Center gives college basketball fans a tremendous opportunity to watch two of the sport’s most storied programs compete on a national stage,” said UCLA head coach Steve Alford. “Coach Cal has done an excellent job as head coach at Kentucky, and I have a great deal of respect for him and his staff.

“Having four of the nation’s marquee programs involved in this field over the next three years is great for college basketball. These types of non-conference matchups early in the season are extremely helpful in preparing your team for March, and I know our guys are really looking forward to this game.”

“We are excited to be part of the CBS Sports Classic the next three seasons,” Ohio State coach Thad Matta said in a statement. “The four teams competing have a tremendous history of success in college basketball. We have partnered with terrific cities and venues to make this a great experience for our program, our student-athletes and our fans.”

UCLA last faced Kentucky at the Maui Invitational on Nov. 21, 2006, with the Bruins securing a 73-68 victory en route to winning that tournament.

In all, the four participating programs have combined to win 25 NCAA championships. UCLA has won a nation-leading 11 NCAA titles. Kentucky has captured eight NCAA championships, North Carolina has won five and Ohio State owns one.



The Big 12 and Southeastern Conferences have announced the matchups for the 2014 SEC/Big 12 Challenge.

“The Big 12 was thrilled with the success of the Challenge last season,” said Commissioner Bob Bowlsby. “We are equally excited about this year’s games that will continue to add quality opponents to our strong non-conference schedules as we look to defend our performance as the nation’s No. 1 conference.”

All games in the Challenge are scheduled over a four-day span, from December 3-6. ESPN will provide exclusive coverage of all 10 games on it networks. Additional components of the event, including start times and exact network information, will be announced at a later date.

The Challenge includes eight teams ranked in the early “Fab 50” rankings overall, with five Big 12 teams rated in the top 25 – No. 1 Kentucky, No. 4 Kansas, No. 6 Texas, No. 7 Florida, No. 18 Iowa State, No. 19 Oklahoma, No. 25 K-State and No. 44 LSU. Two games will pit ranked teams against each other – Florida at Kansas and Texas at Kentucky.

Last season, the Big 12 won the Challenge by capturing wins in seven of the 10 meetings. The Big 12 has posted a 35-23 (.603) record in the last two challenge series it has played (vs. Pac-10, SEC) dating back to 2007.

Wednesday, December 3
Auburn at Texas Tech

Thursday, December 4
Arkansas at Iowa State
Baylor at Vanderbilt
LSU at West Virginia
TCU at Mississippi

Friday, December 5
Florida at Kansas
Missouri at Oklahoma
Texas at Kentucky

Saturday, December 6
Kansas State at Tennessee
Oklahoma State at South Carolina

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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.