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Bruins to play Ohio State, not Kentucky on Saturday

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The Buckeyes now await UCLA

NCAA Basketball: Marquette at UCLA Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The marquee matchup that once was, was not, and now never will be.

That’s right, your UCLA Bruins will no longer take on the Kentucky Wildcats in the CBS Sports Classic on Saturday, December 19. Instead, the Wildcats will play North Carolina.

This change comes as the second move of the CBS Sports Classic, after the originally-scheduled OSU-UNC game was flexed to the second game of the day, it was then announced that the opponents had switched. Ohio State will now play UCLA in the latter game while UNC will play Kentucky in the early game matchup.

The reasoning behind it all? COVID-19, of course. And the requisite testing protocols for each team’s conference. Per the release:

The revised schedule was created to more closely align COVID-19 testing protocols between the competing programs and their respective conferences.

This seems to mirror the fact that the Big Ten and Pac-12 were the last two Power-5 conferences to return to football and were closely in contact through the playing seasons on the gridiron, so it does seem to make sense.

The SEC and ACC went with their decisions to play football much earlier, so they seem to be a bit more ‘relaxed’ than the Big Ten and Pac-12 do.

Ohio State and UCLA will now play at 1:15 pm PT (4:15 pm local time) in the second game of the day. Ohio State’s football team will be playing in the Big Ten Championship Game in the early window of the day, leading some to speculate that is why they moved the Buckeyes originally-scheduled game with UNC to the late window.

The Bruins play Stanford on the football field at 4:00 pm PT, so on a wonderful Saturday, you can watch both teams back-to-back in nationally-televised events for the first time this season.