It's confirmed: the UNC basketball program is returning to Madison Square Garden

The annual CBS Sports Classic returns to the Big Apple, as Hubert Davis and the UNC basketball program return to Madison Square Garden.
Jimmy V Classic - Connecticut v North Carolina
Jimmy V Classic - Connecticut v North Carolina / Porter Binks/GettyImages

North Carolina will once again compete in the annual CBS Sports Classic, as Jeff Goodman first reported that the Tar Heels will match up with UCLA as part of the two-game event. The location of the event is now confirmed, as it will be held at Madison Square Garden for the first time since 2022.

This year's event will take place on Saturday, December 21. The UNC basketball program will take on UCLA in the first game (3:00 PM EST tip), while Kentucky and Ohio State will clash in the second game immediately following.

Fans of the UNC basketball program fondly remember the last time the Tar Heels played in this event at The Garden, as Pete Nance drained a buzzer-beater to force overtime against Ohio State. North Carolina ended up winning that game 89-84, as Armando Bacot led the way with a dominant 28-point, 15-rebound effort.

North Carolina has had success against UCLA in the CBS Sports Classic, as the Tar Heels have won each of the previous two matchups. The first meeting between the two historic programs took place in 2014, the inaugural year of the event, as the No. 11-ranked Tar Heels defeated the then-ranked No. 22 Bruins by a score of 89-76. In 2019, the Tar Heels prevailed again, as they secured a 10-point victory in Las Vegas.

The two programs were scheduled to face off in the 2021 event, but due to COVID-19 protocols, the Bruins weren't able to participate. Instead, the UNC basketball program squared off against Kentucky, the only program that has beaten them in this event.

More information regarding the UNC basketball program's upcoming schedule continues to surface, as Hubert Davis' team will once again face off against a very competitive non-conference slate. As he's stated in the past, Davis loves channeling his professional routes back to the Big Apple, as the Tar Heels have once again started to be a yearly visitor in the city that never sleeps.