New Big 4? UNC, Kentucky, UCLA, Ohio State in event

From Staff ReportsMay 7, 2014 

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UNC's Marcus Paige (5) drives to the basket against Kentucky's Aaron Harrison (2) for two of his game-high 23 points in December at the Smith Center in Chapel Hill.

ROBERT WILLETT — rwillett@newsobserver.com Buy Photo

  • Schedule

    2014 in Chicago

    • UNC vs.

    Ohio State

    • Kentucky vs. UCLA

    2015 in Brooklyn

    • Kentucky vs. Ohio State

    • UNC vs. UCLA

    2016 in Las Vegas

    • Kentucky vs. UNC

    • Ohio State vs. UCLA

It’s not the old Big Four, but as nonconference college basketball events go, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better four.

North Carolina will join Kentucky, UCLA and Ohio State in a three-year annual round-robin beginning Dec. 20, 2014 in Chicago. The four heavyweights in the CBS Sports Classic have combined to win 25 NCAA titles. UCLA leads the way with a record 11 championships, followed by Kentucky (eight), North Carolina (five) and Ohio State (one).

Each team will play the others over the three years.

UNC will open against Ohio State at the United Center in 2014. The Tar Heels will face UCLA in 2015 in Brooklyn, N.Y., at the Barclays Center, also the site of the 2017 and 2018 ACC tournaments, and will finish with Kentucky in Las Vegas in 2016.

“The CBS Sports Classic is a tremendous showcase for college basketball and an exciting event for North Carolina because it brings together four outstanding basketball programs and gives our fans across the country three unique opportunities to see us play,” UNC coach Roy Williams said in a release.

“Thad Matta’s Ohio State teams are always talented and well coached, so we know we will have a challenge in this year’s game in Chicago. Our players and fans enjoy these matchups; it should be a fun test heading into the holidays.”

Kentucky coach John Calipari, on his Twitter account, described the field’s combined NCAA titles as “remarkable.”

“Not only that, some of the best fans in basketball will have the opportunity to see us play in 3 major venues vs. some of the top programs,” he wrote.

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