Kentucky to open the NCAA BB season with top dog

Matt SmithSenior Analyst IAugust 14, 2008

If Kentucky fans thought they were getting a break for the opening of the 2008 basketball season they thought wrong.

The Wildcats will open with preseason favorite North Carolina in Chapel Hill November 18 in both team's first scheduled game of the season.

The game time is a result of a growing football presence in the game's usual December spot due to conference championship games.  To add interest, ESPN will pick up the coverage in part with an all-day college basketball extravaganza.

The Heels will bring back all five starters from a Final Four team a year ago along with bringing in three McDonald's All-Americans.

Kentucky will be looking to continue to improve from the 07-08 season where the Wildcats struggled early, but had a solid end to last season.

Kentucky will have to replace guards Joe Crawford and Ramel Bradley along with having the possibility of Patrick Patterson not being up to speed after last year's season ending injury.

The Heels lead the all time series 20-10 and if Kentucky wants to close that gap this season they better make a deal with the Devil because it will be a tall order to beat the Heels in their season opener in Chapel Hill.