Kentucky Basketball Game Today: Kentucky vs North Carolina, Line, Predictions, Odds, TV Channel & Live Stream for Basketball Game Dec. 18

TyTy Washington Jr. of the Kentucky Wildcats (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
TyTy Washington Jr. of the Kentucky Wildcats (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /

The Kentucky basketball team is in Fabulous Las Vegas today ready to play in the CBS Sports Classic against North Carolina at 5:30 pm EST. No that’s not a typo from the originally scheduled programing but a last-minute substitution.

Anytime you go to Las Vegas its a gamble, but the Wildcats had no idea its opponent Ohio State would roll craps with Covid and have to stay home. Neither did North Carolina and their opponent UCLA which also crapped out.

So John Calipari and his teams till fly flew to Las Vegas with an opponent to be determined desperately needing to play a quality opponent and notching a marquee win to put on their resume.

The logic was two of the winningest programs in NCAA history should instead matchup, and while it took some finagling with logistics it came to be.

Since the two met last season in the same CBS Classic in Cleveland where UNC won 75-63 the pair wasn’t supposed to play this season. Well, thank you, Covid for changing that. Although in reality, these two teams should meet each year in a home and home series.

Ironically the teams weren’t supposed to play either last season it was then supposed to be the Cats and Buckeyes but Covid spoiled that one too.

North Carolina leads the all-time series versus Kentucky 25-16, but Kentucky is 7-4 against UNC in the John Calipari era and most being very close games.

Kentucky has to shoot better from behind the 3-point line where they were 2 of 19 against Notre Dame. Calipari addressed that previewing this weekend’s game and simply it was not passing up good shots.

"“What they’re doing is, I catch it and hold it because I want to make a play, when, if you move it, you’re moving the defense and that guy can make a play. ‘What about me? I want to make the play.’ So, they’ll catch it and do this, and by the time they throw it to him he’s guarded. So, whoever said that is—make a shot.”"

Kentucky basketball vs North Carolina Odds and Betting

WynnBet’s College Basketball Odds has Kentucky as a 3.0 point favorite. The over/under has been set at 145.5 points and the Moneyline is Kentucky -150 while North Carolina is +130. The point totals are Kentucky scoring 74.5 points and North Carolina 71.5.

Kentucky is 0-5-1 against the spread though in their last six games as a favorite of seven points or less.

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Kentucky vs North Carolina Prediction Today

The Tar Heels come into the game  8-2 having reeled off five straight wins that include Michigan following consecutive losses to Purdue and Tennessee.

Conversely, Kentucky is 7-2 having lost its opener to Duke, followed that with seven straight wins over cupcake teams and struggled to shoot from long range and was upset by Notre Dame last week. Big Blue needs this victory over a quality opponent not only for their mental state but for a key win for its post-season seeding come NCAA tournament time.

If you thought Ohio State was going to be physical wait till Oscar Tshiebwe and the rest of the backline see what UNC throws at them.

It will be a battle on the boards and if Tshiebwe stays out of foul trouble this will be a war on the glass.

Big O is averaging 14.4 rebounds a game while UK claims 45 percent of its offensive rebounds which ranks tops in the NCAA.  However, the Tar Heels only allow the foes to claim 18.6 percent on the offensive glass which ranks second in the nation.

I don’t think there will be a flurry of turnovers but Kentucky needs to get out in transition and run when they do turn the Heels over.

This could come down to being a dandy to watch.

My prediction is Kentucky 73, North Carolina 71.

What Channel is the Kentucky Basketball Game On

Today’s game will be on CBS.

Kentucky versus North Carolina Live Stream

Today’s Kentucky game can be streamed live on CBS Sports.

Tipoff is set for 5:30 pm EST.

Kentucky over the airwaves

For the radio enthusiasts, our stellar team of Tom Leach (play-by-play), Mike Pratt, and Dick Gabriel (sideline) will have the call on the UK Sports Network. They can be heard at 840 AM around Louisville and in the Lexington area at both 630 AM and 98.1 FM. If you are outside these areas check your local statins or you can always listen online at

Kentucky’s Next Game and Schedule

Kentucky returns home for an early Christmas treat matchup with rival Louisville who plays instate foe Western Kentucky today prior to the Kentucky game.    Here’s a look at their schedule for the next four games.

December 22 Louisville 6 PM ESPN

December 29 Missouri  7 PM SEC Network

December 31 High Point  Noon SEC Network

January 4 @ LSU 7 PM ESPN