CHAPEL HILL — There is a date in place for the North Carolina-Kentucky basketball game, and that date is Dec. 13. The Tar Heels and Wildcats will play at noon that Saturday in Rupp Arena, according to Kentuckys non-conference schedule, which is now posted.
Not too surprising, this news. The Tar Heels and Wildcats played on the same weekend in December last year in the Smith Center a memorable 82-77 UNC victory in front of a whiteout crowd in Chapel Hill. Previous UNC-Kentucky games have been around this time of year, too.
The last time UNC played at Rupp Arena, Kentucky held on for a 73-72 victory on Dec. 3, 2011. The Wildcats won that game thanks in no small part to Anthony Davis block of a John Henson shot in the final seconds. Kentucky went on to win the national championship.
Now that we know this date, UNCs schedule non-conference schedule at least the part of it that will generate the most interest is pretty well set. Some dates of note:
Nov. 26-26 Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas. In addition to UNC the eight-team field includes Butler, Florida, Georgetown, Oklahoma, UAB, UCLA and Wisconsin.
Dec. 3 vs. Iowa (ACC/Big Ten Challenge)
Dec. 13 at Kentucky
Dec. 20 vs. Ohio State, in Chicago
So, as usual, the Tar Heels are playing quite the difficult non-conference schedule. Kentucky is No. 1 in CBSSports.coms early top 25. Ohio State is No. 21. UNC is 7th, and Florida and Wisconsin, teams UNC could face in the Bahamas, are among the top six.