College Basketball
Kansas, North Carolina basketball announce home-and-home series
College Basketball

Kansas, North Carolina basketball announce home-and-home series

Updated Jul. 25, 2023 12:13 a.m. ET

How do college basketball programs create buzz for the sport in November and December when football is still in full swing? By scheduling fresh marquee matchups. When those matchups take place on campus and showcase some of the sport's top fan bases, it’s an added bonus, and one that some coaches would be unwilling to try. 

Bill Self and Hubert Davis have delivered the goods. 

Kansas and North Carolina announced Monday that the pair of blue blood programs have agreed to an early-season home-and-home series beginning in 2024. The series will be deemed the "Battle of the Blue Bloods." The two schools will meet at Allen Fieldhouse on Nov. 8, 2024, with a return game at the Dean E. Smith Center on Nov. 14, 2025.


In what will be a rematch of the 2022 national championship game that Kansas took in comeback fashion, 72-69, these two programs have formed the most frequently-played matchup in Final Four history with a combined five showdowns on college basketball’s biggest stage. 

The all-time series spans 12 meetings, seven of which have come in the NCAA Tournament, with each team taking six apiece. 

While "The Roy Williams Classicis the first natural name for this series, in honor of the Hall of Famer who coached the Jayhawks from 1988-2003 before leading the Tar Heels from 2003-21, that’s only the start of the rich history between these two programs. 

Dean Smith played for Phog Allen at Kansas, where he was a member of the 1952 NCAA champions and 1953 NCAA finalists. Smith was the head coach at UNC for 36 years, where he won two NCAA titles, led the Tar Heels to 11 Final Fours and retired as the winningest coach in college basketball history.

For two programs that have combined for 10 national championships and 37 Final Fours to schedule a true home-and-home is a win for the sport, especially when coupled with the fact that the matchups come within the first two weeks of the season. 

The Tar Heels have only played at Allen Fieldhouse one time (1960), while the Jayhawks have never gone to Chapel Hill for a game. 

The atmospheres will provide for destination TV and an early-season spotlight for the sport. 

And for Self, he’s certainly showing zero fear in scheduling. Kansas is already committed to the early-season staple in college basketball: the Champions Classic. Within the first two weeks of the 2024 season, the Jayhawks will meet Michigan State and North Carolina, and then will face Duke and UNC within the first two weeks of the 2025 campaign. 

John Fanta is a national college basketball broadcaster and writer for FOX Sports. He covers the sport in a variety of capacities, from calling games on FS1 to serving as lead host on the BIG EAST Digital Network to providing commentary on The Field of 68 Media Network. Follow him on Twitter at @John_Fanta.

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