CHICAGO — Keldon Johnson scored 23 points and Reid Travis added 20 and No. 19 Kentucky beat No. 9 North Carolina 80-72 in the CBS Sports Classic at United Center on Saturday night. Box Score|Play-by-Play|Team Stats|Videos
Johnson, a freshman from South Hill, Virginia, shot 8 of 12 from the floor and connected on four 3-pointers, including three after the interval.
He scored 16 of his points in the second half.
Meanwhile, Travis added six rebounds, three steals and two blocks to his contribution on the night, while Tyler Herro scored 15 points and PJ Washington added 11 points, nine rebounds and a career-high eight assists for the Wildcats (9-2).
Cameron Johnson led North Carolina with 17 points, with Luke Maye ending with 16 points and six rebounds for the Tar Heels (8-3), who were playing Kentucky for the first time since the 2017 NCAA South Regional final.
Kenny Williams added 11 points, six rebounds and five assists for North Carolina, which beat then-No. 4 Gonzaga last week.
Kentucky was winning back-to-back games since the overtime 84-83 loss to Seton Hall at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 8.
Kentucky led 63-55, with a little over eight minutes remaining before Keldon Johnson nailed 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions and Washington also made another connection from long range later in the game and the Wildcats held on down the stretch.
As a team, Kentucky shot 44.4 percents from the field and scored 28 baskets on 24 assists. The Wildcats also scored 20 points off 17 turnovers. They struggled from 3-point range, though, making just 9 for 26.
North Carolina shot 42.2 percent, while going 7 for 19 from 3-pointers.