UCLA Out, North Carolina In as Kentucky’s Saturday Opponent
We have certainly witnessed a LOT of changes and adjustments relative to the COVID-19 pandemic, haven't we?
I'm not sure we've seen bigger ones than in the world of sports, though. There have been so many college football and college basketball games canceled, it really is hard to keep up.
Opponents change at the last minute due to COVID test results or protocols. Open dates are created and then filled at the last minute. I'm sure the folks at the regimented NCAA front office are dealing with spinning heads.
The Kentucky Wildcats have been affected as well. Their game against Detroit Mercy, which was slated for November 27th, was called off due to COVID issues in the Detroit Mercy camp. And now the virus has created an unforeseen change in this weekend's game.
The CBS Sports Classic is set for Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse in Cleveland this Saturday. This is the seventh year for the event and this weekend, UK was to tip off against the UCLA Bruins with North Carolina facing Ohio State in the other matchup.
Well, a game of musical opponents has taken place and the Wildcats will now be taking on the Tar Heels.
Kentucky Sports Radio reports that the switch occurred "to more closely align COVID-19 testing protocols between the competing programs and their respective conferences."
From what I'm gathering--and I haven't found a source that is explicit in its explanation--the SEC and the PAC-12 (UCLA's conference) have differing COVID protocols, necessitating the switch.
Over the past six seasons, North Carolina has the best record of the four schools involved, at 4-2. The two losses, however, have both come against Kentucky, which will bring a 1-4 record into the event.
The Wildcats are hoping to avoid their first five-game losing streak since 1989-1990, Rick Pitino's first year as head coach.