Carolina concludes the non-conference portion of its regular-season schedule when it plays Kentucky in the CBS Sports Classic in Cleveland, Ohio, on Saturday, December 19. Tip time is 2 p.m. The Tar Heels were originally slated to play Ohio State in this year’s Classic, but the matchups changed due to Covid testing protocols this week.
- Carolina is 4-2 after a 73-67 home win over NC Central on December 12. The Eagles replaced Elon on the schedule after Elon paused its season due to Covid-19.
- Armando Bacot had 19 points (most by a Tar Heel in the first six games) and 11 rebounds to lead UNC. He scored 15 of UNC’s 30 points in the first half to help the Tar Heels overcome an early 11-point deficit to take a 30-28 lead.
- Carolina’s top three scorers through six games are senior Garrison Brooks (11.8 ppg), freshman RJ Davis (11.2) and freshman Caleb Love (11.2). This would be the third consecutive season two freshman are among the top five scorers (fifth time in the Roy Williams era with 2006, 2007, 2019 and 2020).
- The last time a Tar Heel led the team in scoring with less than 12 points a game was 1946-47, when Jim Hamilton averaged 11.4 points.
- The opponents have out-scored UNC by a combined 12 points in the first half, but the Tar Heels have outscored the opponents by 53 points in the second half (8.8 per game).
- Carolina has fallen behind by double digits in the first half in four of its first six games and rallied back to take the lead in all four, beating UNLV and NC Central but eventually losing to Texas and Iowa.
- The Tar Heels are averaging 46.7 rebounds, including 16.2 offensive rebounds per game.
- UNC has 75 assists and 99 turnovers. The 99 turnovers are the most by UNC in the first six games since 2009-10, when the Tar Heels committed 113.
- Kentucky is 1-4 for the first time since the 1984-85 season. That team rallied and made the Sweet 16.
- UK has never lost more than four in a row under John Calipari. This is only the second time in 12 seasons the Wildcats have lost more than two in a row (2017-18 also lost four straight).
- Kentucky is averaging 16.8 turnovers per game, leading to an average of 20.8 points for the opposition.
- Olivier Sarr played his best game as a Wildcat vs. Notre Dame with 22 points, seven rebounds and three blocks.
- KenPom.com lists UK’s average lineup experience at 0.81, the fourth-most inexperienced team in the nation that has played in a game in 2020-21
UNC vs Kentucky:
- Carolina is 24-16 all-time against Kentucky.
- Carolina is the only D-I program in the country that has 10 or more wins and a winning record against Kentucky.
- Carolina is 12-6 against Kentucky at neutral sites, including 2-1 in Charlotte, Greensboro and Louisville; 1-0 in Atlanta, Birmingham, College Park, East Rutherford, N.J., Memphis and Raleigh; and 0-1 in Chicago, Newark and Las Vegas.
- Roy Williams is 8-7 against Kentucky at North Carolina and 9-10 overall.
- This is the 18th time the Tar Heels enter the game as the higher-ranked team in the AP poll. UNC is 11-6 against UK in those games.
- Carolina is 0-2 against Kentucky in the CBS Sports Classic. The Wildcats beat UNC, 103- 100, in Las Vegas on 12/17/16. Malik Monk scored 47 and De’Aaron Fox had 24 points and 10 assists to offset a career-high 34 points by Tar Heel junior Justin Jackson.
- UNC is ranked No. 22 in the Associated Press poll, while Kentucky is unranked.
- Carolina and Kentucky are one-two all-time in appearances in the AP poll. UNC is first with 927; the Wildcats are second with 920. Duke is next with 837.
- This is the first time the teams have played when one team was unranked in the AP poll since the Tar Heels were unranked on 12/4/10.
- This is the first time in 21 games when the teams have played when neither team is ranked in the AP top 20.
- Both Carolina and Kentucky field relatively inexperienced squads. The Tar Heels play six freshmen among their first 10 players, with two freshmen in the starting lineup and three rookies among their top five scorers. Five of Kentucky’s top seven scorers are freshmen and the other two are first-year transfers.
- Carolina is averaging 4.0 three-pointers per game and is shooting 27.0 percent from three-point range; the Wildcats are making 4.4 threes per game and shooting 24.4 percent from beyond the arc.
- Carolina is averaging 4.0 turnovers more than assists; the Wildcats are averaging 4.6 more turnovers than assists.
- Through December 16, both teams had an effective field goal percentage of 46.9, tied for 224th in the NCAA.
- Defensively, UNC is holding its opponents to 67.2 points and 40.1 percent shooting from the floor; Kentucky’s opponents are averaging 65.8 points and shooting 40.5 percent from the floor.
Tar Heels in the CBS Sports Classic:
- This is the seventh season in which Carolina has played in the CBS Sports Classic with Kentucky, Ohio State and UCLA.
- The Tar Heels are 4-2 in the Classic.
- Carolina is 0-2 against Kentucky in the Classic.
- Cleveland is hosting the CBS Sports Classic for the first time.
- UNC will be playing in Cleveland for the first time since the third game of the Roy Williams era on 11/29/03, when the Tar Heels won at Cleveland State.
- Carolina will be playing in Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, home of the Cleveland Cavaliers, for the first time.
How to Watch:
TV: CBS (Carter Blackburn, Bill Raftery)
Radio: Tar Heel Sports Properties (Jones Angell, Eric Montross, Adam Lucas, Dave Nathan)
Stream: CBS All Access