Duke is set to play Elon and UNC to meet Kentucky after COVID-19 derailed scheduled opponents

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Friday, December 17, 2021
Safety protocols in place as Duke, State, UNC tip off Tuesday
All three Triangle ACC schools begin the college basketball season Tuesday night.

There are new opponents for Duke and North Carolina this weekend thanks to COVID chaos.

The No. 2 Blue Devils (9-1) announced Friday afternoon that they will face Elon in Cameron Indoor Stadium on Saturday.

Tip time will be at 4 p.m. The game will be televised on ACC Network.

Duke was originally supposed to play Cleveland State, but that was derailed when Cleveland State paused its program because of COVID-19 protocols.

Loyola, Maryland then stepped in as an opponent for the Blue Devils, but that game was also canceled.

Tickets and parking passes for the originally-scheduled game vs. Cleveland State/Loyola will be accepted Saturday.

Meanwhile, the Tar Heels will not play the fourth-ranked UCLA Bruins this weekend because of COVID-19.

The Tar Heels (8-2) were scheduled to play the Bruins in the CBS Sports Classic in Las Vegas, but COVID-19 developments in the UCLA basketball program forced the Bruins to pull out of the tournament.

This will be the second straight game UCLA had to miss because of COVID-19.

However, the Tar Heels will still be playing basketball in Las Vegas.

That's because Ohio State University was also forced to drop out of the event because of COVID-19--leaving their scheduled opponent, Kentucky, without a team to play against.

Organizers of the CBS Sports Classic announced Friday morning that UNC and Kentucky would now play each other at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday.

This will be the third time UNC and Kentucky have matched up in this early season event. Kentucky has won two of the three matchups, but UNC got the better of the Wildcats in the most recent game, which happened last year.