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University of Kansas vs University of North Carolina, 2022 NCAA Men's National Championship

Source: Greg Nelson / Getty

It’s not often you see two giants in their respective sports agree to play one another in their home venues, but that’s what North Carolina and Kansas have agreed to do, starting in 2024. The Tar Heels will travel to Lawrence for the second time ever, and the first time since 1960, next year, with Kansas set to make their first-ever trip to Chapel Hill the following season. College basketball is a sport built on its blue bloods, which Carolina and Kansas both qualify as. Combined, they have 10 national championships and 37 Final Fours. North Carolina is first in Final Four appearances, and first in NCAA Tournament victories. Meanwhile, Kansas ranks in the top seven for wins, Final Fours, and national championships.

Even though North Carolina and Kansas haven’t played much in the regular season, they have met plenty in the NCAA Tournament. Most recently, Kansas defeated UBC in the 2022 national title game in New Orleans. The most famous game between the two programs is the 1957 national championship, where UNC defeated Kansas, and Wilt Chamberlain, in triple overtime to finish the season 32-0. While Roy Williams was at Kansas, he defeated Dean Smith in the 1991 Final Four. Two years later, UNC returned the favor, as they went on to win the national championship. Roy Williams was 0-3 against Kansas in the NCAA Tournament, losing to the Jayhawks in the 2008 Final Four, the 2012 Elite Eight, and the second round in 2013.

While Kansas is set to make their first ever trip to Chapel Hill, they’ve played UNC in the Tar Heel State, back in 1959, and in 1981, when Michael Jordan made his North Carolina debut. UNC won in Lawrence back in 1960, three years after beating them in Kansas City to win UNC’s first national title.

Roy Williams isn’t the only North Carolina head coach to have Kansas ties, as Dean Smith was a Kansas alum, having played for the legendary Phog Allen in the 1950s. Simply put, the two schools are forever linked, as you can’t tell the story of one program, without telling the story of the other.

This is a massive win for the game of college basketball, as you very rarely see these types of matchups happen on campus. From a TV perspective, this will give the college basketball season some juice in the non-conference portion of the season, which is usually highlighted for the holiday tournaments.