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CBS Sports Classic 2021: Teams, Schedule, Live Stream and TV Info

Maurice Bobb@@ReeseReportFeatured ColumnistDecember 18, 2021

SOUTH BEND, IN - DECEMBER 11: Oscar Tshiebwe #34 talks with head coach John Calipari of the Kentucky Wildcats during the game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Purcell Pavilion on December 11, 2021 in South Bend, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Michael Hickey/Getty Images

The 2021 CBS Sports Classic has officially lost one of its games, as Ohio State and UCLA both canceled their appearances in the anticipated event because of COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

That leaves just one matchup on the schedule, but it's an exciting one: Kentucky vs. North Carolina.

The contest will take place this Saturday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas at 5:30 p.m. on CBS.

Simply put, this is a game on the national stage, so both blue blood schools will be looking to put on a show, even though only the Wildcats (No. 21) are ranked in the AP Top 25.

The Tar Heels aren't ranked, but they have a better record this season than their opponent (8-2 vs. 7-2).

Here's a quick look at how to watch the game and what to expect.

                   

2021 CBS Sports Classic Information

Games: North Carolina vs. Kentucky

Start Times: 5:30 p.m. ET

TV: CBS

Live Stream: CBSSports.com or CBS Sports app 

               

Previews

North Carolina vs. Kentucky

Kentucky and North Carolina are both storied programs in the annals of college basketball, so anytime they face each other is kind of a big deal.

That means that even with the withdrawal of Ohio State and UCLA, this year's CBS Sports Classic is still going to be must-see TV.

Kentucky Men’s Basketball @KentuckyMBB

Blue Blood Battle. Kentucky and North Carolina Saturday on CBS at 5:30 p.m. ET. https://t.co/6jmnXDUjg9

The last time these two teams faced each other in this event in Cleveland, the Tar Heels emerged victorious 75-63.

Overall, UNC has a 5-2 all-time record at the Classic, but it has a losing record (1-2) against the Wildcats in the event.

For the Tar Heels, this is a chance to build on their five-game winning streak.

Let by sophomore guard Caleb Love, who is averaging 16.2 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game, North Carolina is on a roll and will be a big problem for Kentucky.

As for John Calipari's Cats, they are excited about the chance to rebound from the 66-62 loss to Notre Dame last week.

"Very excited. I feel like our whole program is excited, especially after a loss like that," freshman guard TyTy Washington Jr. told Tim Letcher of UKathletics.com. "We didn't shoot the ball well in that game. We didn't shoot the ball nearly as good as we can. We've been keying in on making shots, being shot-ready at all times."

Kentucky is led by National Player of the Year front-runner Oscar Tshiebwe.

The junior forward is averaging 16.3 points and 14.4 rebounds per game while shooting an impressive 67.8 percent from the field.

Still, the Cats won't just be relying on Tshiebwe's dominance down low.

"We're still trying to figure things out," Washington added. "You can't stuff it down to Oscar every time. Teams are going to start double-teaming. So all of the rest of us on the court, we have to step up. We've been trying different ways for us guards to get going."

Regardless of who wins, this should be one of the best games of the year.

Carolina Basketball @UNC_Basketball

𝐁𝐀𝐂𝐊 𝐈𝐍 𝐁𝐋𝐀𝐂𝐊 ⚫️ #CarolinaFamily | @ariidavis_ https://t.co/TUcsNp3ztM

And as the icing on the cake, UNC will be wearing its special black jerseys instead of its classic blue away jersey for the game.

The last time the Heels wore black jerseys was in the 2015 CBS Sports Classic vs. UCLA, which they won 89-76.