Buckeyes To Take Part In Blue Blood Series

In recent years, college basketball has seen a rise in the popularity of out-of-conference showcases played at neutral locations. Now, Ohio State will find itself a part of such series for each of the next three seasons, as the Buckeyes will join blue blood programs North Carolina, Kentucky and UCLA in the CBS Sports Classic.

Want to see how far Ohio State basketball has come under Thad Matta? Look no further than Wednesday's announcement of the CBS Sports Classic.

A round robin-style series to take place in three different cities, the Buckeyes will join blue blood college basketball programs North Carolina, Kentucky and UCLA in the three-year event. Ohio State will face the Tar Heels in Chicago's United Center on Dec. 20 this season, before playing the Wildcats in Brooklyn on Dec. 19, 2015 and the Bruins in Las Vegas on Dec. 17, 2016.

"We are excited to be part of the CBS Sports Classic the next three seasons," Matta said in a statement. "The four teams competing have a tremendous history of success in college basketball. We have partnered with terrific cities and venues to make this a great experience for our program, our student-athletes and our fans."

The development of the Buckeyes basketball program in 10 years under Matta is evidenced by CBS' decision to to feature them in a series alongside three teams that have combined for 24 national championships. Under John Calipari, Kentucky has advanced to three of the past four Final Fours, winning a national championship in 2012. North Carolina has won two national titles under head coach Roy Williams, while UCLA played in three straight Final Fours from 2006-08.

Having won its lone national title in 1960, Ohio State has experienced unprecedented success under Matta, winning five Big Ten regular season championships, four conference tournament championships and advancing to two Final Fours. From 2010-2013, the Buckeyes were the only program to advance to four consecutive Sweet 16s in the NCAA Tournament.

Following a season in which its out of conference schedule was questioned, that shouldn't be an issue for the Buckeyes in the upcoming season. In addition to its matchup with North Carolina, Ohio State also already has games scheduled with Louisville and Marquette.

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