By R.L. Bynum
It’s 2020, so it should be no surprise that college basketball’s preseason has been like no other. This comes, of course, after there was no NCAA tournament in March.
There was no Late Night With Roy. There was no ACC Operation Basketball in Charlotte as there has been in recent years.
Other than there being no Late Night to get the first glimpse of the Tar Heels’ talented freshman class, the biggest frustration for fans is that they still don’t have the full schedule.
The ACC told UNC not to expect the league’s schedule to be released until early November, so perhaps we’ll see the full schedule next week.
For now, College of Charleston has announced that it will open its season in Chapel Hill against UNC on Nov. 25. Carolina hasn’t confirmed that game, which would also be the Tar Heels’ opener.
The teams have split the previous six games with neither winning two consecutive meetings. UNC hopes that continues because the Cougars won the last meeting 66–64 in Charlotte on Dec. 5, 1998.
The schedule for the Maui Invitational in Asheville is set.
The Tar Heels face UNLV at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 30, then start December by facing either Alabama or Stanford. On the third day of the event, Dec. 2, UNC faces either Texas, Davidson, Indiana or Providence.
In the last week, two more games were revealed: UNC visits Iowa on Tuesday, Dec. 8, in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge and the Tar Heels face Ohio State in the CBS Sports Classic on Saturday, Dec. 19, in Cleveland. That, incidentally, is the same day of the ACC football championship game.
This will mark UNC’s second visit to Iowa City. The first produced an 87–74 loss on Dec. 9, 1989. The Hawkeyes beat UNC in Chapel Hill in the last meeting 60-55 on Dec. 3, 2014. The Tar Heels are 1–3 all-time against Iowa with the lone victory coming 106–92 in the Maui Invitational championship game in 2004. That season, obviously, ended with a national championship.
UNC is 10–11 in ACC/Big Ten Challenge and 10-7 in the event under Coach Roy Williams.
UNC is 4–2 in the CBS Sports Classic, with one of the victories coming 86–72 against the Buckeyes in 2017.
Here is the Tar Heels’ schedule as we know it so far
|College of Charleston*||Wednesday, Nov. 25||TBA||Chapel Hill||TBA|
|7 p.m.||Asheville||ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU|
|Alabama or Stanford**||Tuesday, Dec. 1||4 p.m. or 9:30 p.m.||Asheville||ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU|
|Texas, Davidson, Indiana or Providence**||Wednesday, Dec. 2||1:30, 4, |
7:15 or 9:45
|Asheville||ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU|
|Iowa||Tuesday, Dec. 8||TBA||Iowa City, Iowa||ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU|
|Ohio State (CBS Sports Classic)||Saturday, Dec. 19||2 p.m.||Cleveland||CBS|
** Maui Invitational
With teams limited to 27 games for this season, the above games in addition to 20 ACC games would leave the Tar Heels with room for one other non-conference game, likely at the Smith Center.
There will be a two-night virtual ACC Operation Basketball event on Wednesday, Nov. 11, and Thursday, Nov. 12, that will be televised on ACC Network from 7–9 p.m. each night.
Williams is scheduled to appear on the first night, along with Clemson’s Brad Brownell, Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, Florida State’s Leonard Hamilton, Miami’s Jim Larrañaga and Wake Forest’s Steve Forbes. The remainder of the coaches will appear on the second night.
There will be women’s basketball sessions each day from 5–7 p.m., also on ACC Network, with UNC’s Courtney Banghart to appear on the first night.
Hopefully, we’ll soon know the full Carolina basketball schedule!