UCLA officially announced that it will play Kentucky at Chicago’s United Center on Dec. 20, setting up a marquee matchup against John Calipari’s national runner-up Wildcats.
Part of the CBS Sports Classic, the game will tip off at approximately 12:30 p.m. PT and be broadcast on — naturally — CBS. The event was first reported by the Columbus Dispatch in March.
Also part of the rotating doubleheader are North Carolina and Ohio State, who will play at 10 a.m. PT. All four teams will remain part of the CBS Sports Classic for the next three years, moving to Brooklyn’s Barclays Center on Dec. 19, 2015 and to Las Vegas in 2016.
The Bruins will almost certainly be heavy underdogs in this first edition, after losing Kyle Anderson, Jordan Adams and Zach LaVine’s 41.4 combined points per game to the NBA draft. Coupled with the graduation of forwards Travis and David Wear, they will be without four of five starters as well as a talented sixth man. Five-star talents Kevon Looney and Isaac Hamilton help plug in some holes, but Anderson may be irreplaceable at point guard.
Kentucky, on the other hand, were bolstered by the surprise return of guards Andrew and Aaron Harrison, and will field a roster that features nine former McDonald’s All-Americans.