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UK men’s basketball matchup set for CBS Sports Classic on WYMT

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WYMT) – Kentucky men’s basketball returns to the CBS Sports Classic this December when the Cats face Ohio State at Madison Square Garden, Dec. 21 at 5:30 p.m. in New York City.

The Wildcats and the Buckeyes will be the second leg of the doubleheader, with UCLA and North Carolina getting the action started at 3 p.m.

Fans interested in attending the event can register to receive direct email alerts regarding ticket news and other event details at Fans who register for these alerts will receive key information on travel package sales and will also be eligible for an exclusive ticket presale.

“As we enter our 11th year of the CBS Sports Classic, we’re thrilled to return to the iconic venue at Madison Square Garden featuring some of the nation’s most elite men’s basketball programs,” said Dan Weinberg, EVP Programming, CBS Sports. “Throughout our more than four decades of college basketball coverage, we have showcased the game at the highest level, from the first tip of the season through the final buzzer in April, and the CBS Sports Classic is a prime example of our commitment to highlighting the best in college basketball.”

Madison Square Garden is the seventh different venue to play host to the CBS Sports Classic, having already done so in 2022. Throughout the 10-year history of the CBS Sports Classic, the United Center in Chicago (2014, 2018), Barclays Center in Brooklyn (2015), T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas (2016, 2019, 2021), Smoothie King Center in New Orleans (2017), Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland (2020) and State Farm Arena in Atlanta (2023), have also hosted the event.

The CBS Sports Classic annually brings together four of the nation’s most successful college basketball programs. The quartet owns a combined 26 national championships, with UCLA (11), Kentucky (8) and North Carolina (6) ranking first, second and third, respectively, in NCAA history. Additionally, all four programs rank in the top six in all time Final Four berths, compiling 66 total appearances between them (North Carolina, 21; UCLA, 18; Kentucky, 17; Ohio State, 10). They are among college basketball’s all-time winningest programs, combining for more than 8,500 victories, while Kentucky (970), North Carolina (957) and UCLA (737), are ranked first, second and fifth, respectively, in all time AP Top-25 appearances, while all four programs rank in the top eight in all time AP Top-Five appearances (Kentucky, first; North Carolina, second; UCLA, fifth; Ohio State, eighth).

Kentucky is 5-5 in the CBS Sports Classic, North Carolina is 6-4, Ohio State is 5-4 and UCLA is 3-6.

Kentucky head coach Mark Pope and his staff have put together a dynamic roster for the 2024-25 season that features a mix of six fifth-year players, one senior, one junior, one sophomore and three freshmen.

UK’s veterans have combined to play in 845 collegiate games and have scored nearly 8,000 career points. Ansley Almonor, Lamont Butler, Andrew Carr and Amari Williams are all 1,000-point scorers. The group has also drained 1,033 career 3-pointers at a 37.0% rate.

Butler and Williams were named their league’s defensive player of the year, while Koby Brea and Jaxson Robinson have been tabbed a conference’s sixth man of the year in their career and Almonor was a most improved selection. Brandon Garrison is a former McDonald’s All-American. Kerr Kriisa has played in 99 career games and has made 238 3-pointers, while Otega Oweh has seen action in 60 games and was Oklahoma’s second-leading scorer a season ago.

Kentucky’s freshmen group includes Travis Perry and Trent Noah from the state of Kentucky and Collin Chandler, a former top-35 signee in the class of 2022. Perry is the state’s all-time leading scorer, while Noah broke the Sweet 16 state record for most 3-pointers drained in a single run with 19 this season.

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