Led by the national champion women’s lacrosse team, North Carolina finished sixth in the final Division I Directors’ Cup standings for the 2021–22 school year. Coach Jenny Levy’s unbeaten Tar Heels team was one of eight UNC teams to finish in the top 10 in NCAA championship play to help the school finish with an ACC-leading 1,087.25 points. Her team earned UNC 100 points and Coach Hubert Davis’ men’s basketball team earned 90 for playing in the national championship game.
Next season will be the last with Coastal chaos and the two-division football format in the ACC. The conference announced Tuesday a new scheduling model from 2023 until 2026 that eliminates divisions. It designates three primary opponents that teams will play each year — for Carolina those are Duke, N.C. State and Virginia. The Tar Heels would be guaranteed to face all 10 other opponents twice over the four-year cycle.
When 6–3 four-star Texas power forward RyLee Grays arrives at Carolina a year from now, she’ll not only swat away shots but conventional expectations for a post player. The third member of UNC’s talented women’s basketball recruiting Class of 2023 combines a versatile skill set that includes excellent ballhandling skills, relentless play around the rim and top-level defense, along with a work ethic and intensity that sets her apart from most players.
North Carolina men’s basketball will play Indiana next season in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge and, for the fourth time in five Challenge meetings, the game will be played in Bloomington, Ind. ESPN announced the Challenge matchups on Friday. The Carolina-Indiana game will be played Thursday, Nov. 30, no doubt at either 9 p.m. or 9:30, although the times weren’t announced. The game will air either on ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU.
When you lose your final college game that also ends the career of a legendary coach, it’s going to be hard to get over it. Former Duke star Paolo Banchero made that clear in an interview with Complex ahead of Thursday’s NBA draft.
CHAPEL HILL — Who will start at quarterback to lead Carolina and try to fill the void left by Sam Howell’s departure? While there is a good bit of optimism with the influx of talent and new coaches that the Tar Heels can rebound from a 6–7 season, the answer to that key question isn’t clear. This is at least the third time veteran UNC coach Mack Brown has gone into the summer in this situation.
Coach Larry Fedora’s New Orleans Breakers and tight end Bug Howard’s Philadelphia Stars earned berths in the four-team United States Football League playoffs but both teams lost last weekend to finish their regular seasons 6–4. Former UNC wide receiver Anthony Ratliff-Williams had two catches for 19 yards Sunday for Houston as the Gamblers knocked off New Orleans 20–3. Philadelphia dropped a 26–23 game Saturday to the New Jersey Generals despite Howard (top photo) collecting five catches off of six targets for 101 yards.
An already talented Class of 2023 for UNC women’s basketball just got better. RyLee Grays, a four-star 6–3 post player from Houston, picked the Tar Heels on Sunday over N.C. State, Texas, Baylor, Florida and Mississippi.
The commitment comes two months later than North Carolina got a key transfer in the last offseason. But the Tar Heels hope that Pete Nance can have the same sort of impact Brady Manek did when he transferred from Oklahoma. Nance’s 3-point shooting percentage last season was better than Manek’s. Nance, the son of former Clemson and NBA star Larry Nance Sr. who played four seasons at Northwestern, will transfer to transfer to UNC after visiting Chapel Hill last week. He announced the news on his Twitter account.
The ACC hasn’t yet released the men’s basketball schedule for next season but the league announced on Wednesday the league opponents for each conference school for the next three seasons. UNC next season will face four of the top five other teams in last season’s ACC standings twice in the Blue Devils, Irish, Deacons and Cavaliers. The Tar Heels meet two of the bottom three teams in the Wolfpack and the Panthers.
CHAPEL HILL — One of the big contrasts between Roy Williams and Hubert Davis was how they handled their rotations. Williams would always play lots of players early in the season and trim his rotation as Carolina got into the bulk of the ACC season. In his first season as head coach, Davis didn’t do that, and stuck to a tight rotation most of the season. Don’t mistake how Davis allocated playing time during his first season as his preference, though. And he says that’s not his decision.
CHAPEL HILL — The childhood memories from Boshamer Stadium may not be as memorable for me as they were for Carmichael Auditorium but there’s no doubt that it’s where I grew to love baseball. Those were rekindled in the last three months covering Carolina baseball.