Outside of UNC vs. Duke, there's no matchup I look forward to more than Carolina-Kentucky. The two blue blood programs have a rich history against each other, and that tradition has only been burnished in recent years as the two college basketball titans have staged multiple classics.
They'll meet again on Saturday in Atlanta for the CBS Sports Classic, and this game has all the makings of being another great one. Carolina is ranked #9 in the AP poll, while Kentucky comes in at #15. Vegas thinks it will be tight, with the Tar Heels favored by just 1.5 points
This game is one of the final opportunities for each program to make a statement in non-conference play. With both teams looking like contenders for a high seed in March, getting a signature win will go a long way when the NCAA Tournament selection committee convenes.
Carolina has fared well against the SEC this season, with impressive wins over Arkansas and Tennessee. Kentucky won't be cowed by going against an ACC foe, though, as they blew Miami out of Rupp Arena in late November.
Something's gotta give, so what do the Tar Heels need to do to overcome the Wildcats? Let's look at three keys to a Carolina victory.