By R.L. Bynum
The CBS Sports Classic is reportedly headed south for the 10th edition next season.
According to Rocco Miller of The Bracketeer website, Carolina will face UCLA on Saturday, Dec. 16 in Atlanta, the closest city to Chapel Hill in the event’s history. Presumably, the Atlanta Hawks’ downtown arena will host the event.
According to the report, Kentucky will face Ohio State in the other game.
That is the weekend after the first part of the Holiday Hoopsgiving event in Atlanta, featuring four games on Dec. 10 (Loyola Chicago vs. Clemson, Memphis vs. Auburn, Wake Forest vs. LSU and Tulane vs. Buffalo). That event includes Georgia facing Notre Dame on Dec. 18.
The Tar Heels are 2–0 against UCLA in the event, winning 89–76 in Brooklyn in 2015 and 74–64 in Las Vegas in 2019. The teams were supposed to play in Las Vegas in 2021 but UCLA could not participate because of COVID-19, and the Tar Heels lost to Kentucky 98–69. UNC also beat UCLA 73–66 in a 2022 Eastern Regional semifinal game in Philadelphia.
Carolina has the best record of the four teams in the event at 6–3 and is the only team with a winning record. Ohio State is 4–4, Kentucky is 5–5 and UCLA is 3–5. All three of the Tar Heels’ losses in the event have come against Kentucky.
Last season, at Madison Square Garden in New York, a Pete Nance bucket sent the game into overtime before UNC beat Ohio State 89–84.
The only other year the event was in the South was 2017, when the Tar Heels knocked off Ohio State 86–72 in the New Orleans Pelicans’ arena.
As the scheduling tidbits have trickled in, here are the other parts of the schedule that we know:
— The season opener is Nov. 6 against Radford.
— UNC faces UC Riverside at home on Nov. 17.
— Carolina will play Nov. 23–26 in the Bahamas at the Battle 4 Atlantis. The other teams in the field are Arkansas, Memphis, Michigan, Northern Iowa, Stanford, Texas Tech and Villanova.
— Carolina will meet Oklahoma in Charlotte at the second Jumpman Invitational, but the date hasn’t been announced
UNC in CBS Sports Classic
2014 — No. 24 Carolina 82, No. 2 Ohio State 74 in Chicago
2015 — No. 11 Carolina 89, No. 22 UCLA 76 in Brooklyn
2016 — No. 6 Kentucky 103, No. 7 Carolina 100 in Las Vegas
2017 — No. 5 Carolina 86, Ohio State 72 in New Orleans
2018 — No. 19 Kentucky 80, Carolina 72 in Chicago
2019 — Carolina 74, UCLA 64 in Las Vegas
2020 — No. 22 Carolina, 75, Kentucky 63 in Cleveland
2021 — No. 21 Kentucky 98, Carolina 69 in Las Vegas
2022 — Carolina 89, No. 23 Ohio State 64, OT, in New York
UNC schedule so far
|Nov. 17||UC Riverside||Home|
|Nov. 23–26||X — Battle 4 Atlantis||Bahamas|
|Dec. 16||CBS Sports Classic vs. either UCLA |
(as reported here) or Kentucky
|Dec. 20||Jumpman Classic vs. Oklahoma||Charlotte|
|Jimmy V Classic||Reportedly UConn||Madison Square Garden|
|Home and road||Duke, N.C. State, Clemson, |
Florida State, Miami and Syracuse
|Home||Louisville, Notre Dame, |
Virginia Tech and Wake Forest
|Road||Boston College, Georgia Tech, |
Pittsburgh and Virginia
Here is a rundown of the Tar Heels’ scholarship players from the just-completed season, with their class should they return next season listed. UNC has three available scholarships.
|5||5th year||Armando Bacot||5||6–11||235|
|5th year||Cormac Ryan (Notre Dame)||3||6–5||195|
|5th year||Paxton Wojcik (Brown)||3||6–5||200|
|Junior||Harrison Ingram (Stanford)||3||6–7||230|
|Senior||Jae’Lyn Withers (Louisville)||4||6–9||220|
|ESPN rank||Incoming freshmen|
|10 (Class |
|Elliot Cadeau (5 star)||PG||6–0||175|
|64||Zayden High (4 star)||4||6–9||225|
|Caleb Love (Arizona)||2||6–4||200|
|Dontrez Styles (Georgetown)||4||6–6||210|
|Tyler Nickel (Va. Tech)||3||6–7||220|
|Justin McKoy (Hawaii)||4||6–8||220|
|Puff Johnson (Penn State)||3||6–8||200|
|Will Shaver (UAB)||5||6–10||260|
|In transfer portal|
|ESPN rank||2024–25 freshman class|
|5||Ian Jackson (5 star)||2||6–5||180|
|37||Drake Powell (4 star)||3||6–5||185|
|48||James Brown (4 star)||5||6–9||225|
Photo via @UNC_Basketball