The success of the Champions Classic the past three years has spawned a second similar event.
Debuting next December is the CBS Sports Classic, another four-team, three-year round-robin event featuring Kentucky, North Carolina, UCLA and Ohio State.
The first CBS Sports Classic will pit Ohio State against North Carolina and Kentucky against UCLA on Dec. 20 at the United Center in Chicago. North Carolina will face UCLA and Kentucky will face Ohio State at the Barclay's Center in Brooklyn the following December. And in the final installment in Las Vegas in 2016, UCLA will meet Ohio State and Kentucky will square off with North Carolina.
“Having four of the nation’s marquee programs involved in this field over the next three years is great for college basketball," UCLA coach Steve Alford said in a school-released statement. "These types of non-conference matchups early in the season are extremely helpful in preparing your team for March, and I know our guys are really looking forward to this game.”
The presence of four teams who have combined to win 25 national championships ensures the CBS Sports Classic should generate similar buzz to the Champions Classic. Kentucky should be the preseason No. 1 next season and North Carolina will probably begin the season in the top 10, while Ohio State and UCLA will again be upper-echelon teams in their respective conferences.
Kentucky, Duke, Kansas and Michigan State have each signed on for one more three-year cycle of the Champions Classic as well. The Wildcats will have a potential top-five matchup against Kansas in November, while Duke will meet Michigan State.
Were the CBS Sports Classic to prove as successful as its predecessor, it wouldn't be shocking to see a third round-robin event emerge. Arizona, Louisville, Michigan and Florida wouldn't be a bad quartet. Hopefully TV networks make it happen.
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