LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky basketball has signed on for three more years of the CBS Sports Classic, starting with a game against UCLA at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans on Dec. 23, 2017. Ohio State-North Carolina will be the other matchup that day.
The Wildcats will then face the Tar Heels in 2018 and the Buckeyes in 2019 at locations yet to be announced. Sixth-ranked Kentucky (9-1) will wrap up the first three-year agreement in the event Saturday at 5:45 p.m. against seventh-ranked North Carolina (10-1) in Las Vegas.
In the first two CBS Sports Classics, the Cats blasted UCLA in Chicago in 2014 and lost to Ohio State in Brooklyn in 2015. Kentucky has also re-upped for a third contract with the similar (but ESPN-created) Champions Classic.
The Wildcats are 4-2 in that event, which also features Duke, Kansas and Michigan State. UK has beaten all three at least once (the Jayhawks twice), including a 69-48 win over the Spartans on Nov. 15. The next three years of the Champions Classic will see the Cats face Kansas in Chicago (Nov. 14, 2017), Duke in Indianapolis (Nov. 13, 2018) and Michigan State in New York (Nov. 12, 2019).
Factoring in Kentucky’s annual rivalry with Louisville, an SEC/Big 12 Challenge opponent each year and coach John Calipari’s desire to play a major-conference opponent in the Bahamas every season, the Wildcats are sure to have loaded non-league schedules for the foreseeable future.