LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky men’s basketball team has signed on for three more years of the CBS Sports Classic, through the 2019-20 season.
Quickly established as one of college basketball’s annual preeminent nonconference events, the CBS Sports Classic will continue to feature the Wildcats, North Carolina, UCLA and Ohio State. CBS Sports announced it was renewing the round-robin series on Tuesday from New Orleans, host of the 2017 event.
The 2017 event, which will feature UK vs. UCLA and Ohio State vs. North Carolina, will be held Dec. 23 at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans. The 2018 and 2019 doubleheader locations will be announced at a later date.
The Wildcats will play North Carolina in 2018 and Ohio State in 2019. UK plays No. 7/6 North Carolina at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday at 5:45 p.m. ET. All games will be televised by CBS Sports.
“The CBS Sports Classic has quickly turned into one of the marquee events of the college basketball season,” head coach John Calipari said. “When you talk about this event, you’re talking about four of the best programs in college basketball. For an annually young team like ours, it’s a great learning opportunity as we end the nonconference season and gear up for league play.”
The event, which launched for the 2014-15 season, was met with immediate fanfare because of the traditional powers it features. Combined, the four schools lay claim to 25 national championships and 175 NCAA Tournament appearances. Since 2006, each team has appeared in at least two Final Fours, while each of the four has played in at least one national championship game. They are among college basketball’s all-time winningest programs, combining for more than 7,700 victories.
UK is 1-1 in the event heading into Saturday’s titanic showdown with the Tar Heels. The Wildcats defeated UCLA in the inaugural season in the United Center in Chicago but lost last season to the Buckeyes in the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.