By R.L. Bynum

North Carolina will face Michigan at home next season in the 23rd ACC-Big Ten Challenge as the Tar Heels try to end a three-game losing streak in the event.

The game will be on the third of three nights of the Challenge on Wednesday, Dec. 1. You can probably bet on a start time of either 9 p.m. or 9:30.

It will be the first Challenge for first-year head coach Hubert Davis.

UNC last won a game in the Challenge on Nov. 29, 2017, when the reigning national champion beat Michigan 86–71 at home. That’s also the last season the ACC won, taking that Challenge 11–3. The leagues tied at 7 in 2018, with the Big Ten winning 8–6 in 2019 and 7–5 last season. The ACC leads the series all-time 12–7–3 and leads in games won 138–113.

The Wolverines have won the two meetings since then, 84–67 in the Challenge in 2018 and 73–64 in the Bahamas in 2019. The Tar Heels were No. 4-ranked at the time of that Bahamas loss.

The Tar Heels have split their eight meetings with Michigan, with the most notable UNC win, of course, the 77–71 victory in the 1993 NCAA championship game in New Orleans. Michigan coach Juwan Howard played in that game, collecting seven points, seven rebounds and three assists.

Howard and Davis were involved in a trade Jan. 22, 2001. The Washington Wizards dealt Howard, Calvin Booth, Obinna Ekezie to the Dallas Mavericks for Davis, Courtney Alexander, Christian Laettner, Etan Thomas, Loy Vaught and cash.

This is Michigan’s first Challenge game since losing 58–43 at Louisville in 2019. Last season’s scheduled game with N.C. State was canceled because of COVID-19 issues on the Wolfpack team.

UNC is 2–0 in the state of North Carolina against the Wolverines, winning that 2017 Challenge game at the Smith Center and beating Michigan 109–97 in the Charlotte Coliseum in the 1987 NCAA tournament, their first all-time meeting.

After the 2018 loss in the Challenge to Michigan, UNC lost in the Challenge at home against Ohio State in 2019 74–49 and at Iowa last season 93–80.

The only players on next season’s team who have played Michigan are Leaky Black and Armando Bacot. Bacot scored six points and Black two points in the 2019 loss to the Wolverines.

Davis lost the only game against Michigan as a player, as the Tar Heels fell 92–87 in the 1989 NCAA tournament in Lexington, Ky. Davis didn’t play in that game but new assistant coach Jeff Lebo collected 19 points and seven assists.

The Tar Heels are 10–12 in the Challenge.

Other Challenge matchups for next season are:

Monday, Nov. 29 — Iowa at Virginia and Notre Dame at Illinois
Tuesday, Nov. 30 — Florida State at Purdue, Indiana at Syracuse, Minnesota at Pittsburgh, Duke at Ohio State, Clemson at Rutgers and Northwestern at Wake Forest
Wednesday, Dec. 1 — Virginia Tech at Maryland, Louisville at Michigan State, Miami at Penn State, Wisconsin at Georgia Tech and Nebraska at N.C. State.

Some suggested that Maryland might be matched up with Duke in Coach Mike Krzyzewski’s last season but that didn’t happen.

It will the first time in the Challenge for Wake Forest since 2017 when the Deacons beat Illinois at home.

An ACC team gets left out every season and next season it’s Boston College.

UNC in ACC-Big Ten Challenge

Dec. 1, 1999 — Chapel Hill: (8) Michigan State 86, (2) UNC 76
Nov. 29, 2000 — East Lansing, Mich.: (3) Michigan State 77, (6) UNC 64
Nov. 28, 2001 — Chapel Hill: (24) Indiana 79, UNC 66
Dec. 3, 2002 — Champaign, Ill.: (25) Illinois 92, (12) UNC 65
Dec. 2, 2003 — Greensboro: (10) UNC 88, (11) Illinois 81
Dec. 1, 2004 — Bloomington, Ind.: (9) UNC 70, Indiana 63
Nov. 29, 2005 — Chapel Hill: (12) Illinois 68, UNC 64
Nov. 29, 2006 Chapel Hill: (7) UNC 98, (3) Ohio State 89
Nov. 28, 2007 — Columbus, Ohio: (1) UNC 66, Ohio State 55
Dec. 3, 2008 — Detroit, Mich.: (1) UNC 98, (13) Michigan State 63
Dec. 1, 2009 — Chapel Hill: (10) UNC 89, (9) Michigan State 82
Nov. 30, 2010 — Champaign, Ill.: (20) Illinois 79, UNC 67
Nov. 30, 2011 — Chapel Hill: (5) UNC 60, (9) Wisconsin 57
Nov. 27, 2012 — Bloomington, Ind.: (1) Indiana 83, (14) UNC 59
Dec. 4, 2013 — East Lansing, Mich.: UNC 79, (1) Michigan State 65
Dec. 3, 2014 — Chapel Hill: Iowa 60, (12) UNC 55
Dec. 1, 2015 — Chapel Hill: (9) UNC 89, (2) Maryland 81
Nov. 30, 2016 — Bloomington, Ind.: (13) Indiana 76, (3) UNC 67
Nov. 29, 2017 — Chapel Hill: (13) UNC 86, Michigan 71
Nov. 28, 2018 — Ann Arbor, Mich.: (7) Michigan 84, (11) UNC 67
Dec. 4, 2019 — Chapel Hill: (6) Ohio State 74, (7) UNC 49
Dec. 8, 2020 — Iowa City, Iowa: (3) Iowa 93, UNC 80
(AP rankings)
UNC record: 10–11
UNC at home: 5–5
UNC away: 3–7
UNC at neutral sites: 2–0

UNC vs. Michigan (4–4)

March 14, 1987: W, 109-97 at NCAA tournament (second round), Charlotte (Charlotte Coliseum)
March 25, 1988: W, 78-68 at NCAA tournament (Sweet 16), Seattle (Kingdome)
March 23, 1989: L, 92-87 at NCAA tournament (Sweet 16), Lexington, Ky. (Rupp Arena)
Dec. 29, 1992: L, 79-78 at Rainbow Classic (semifinals), Honolulu, Hawaii (Blaisdell Center)
April 5, 1993: W, 77-71 at NCAA tournament (national title game), New Orleans (Superdome)
Nov. 29, 2017: W, 86-71 at ACC-Big Ten Challenge, Chapel Hill (Smith Center)
Nov. 28, 2018: L, 84-67 in ACC-Big Ten Challenge, Ann Arbor, Mich. (Crisler Center)
Nov. 28, 2018: L, 73-64 at Battle 4 Atlantis, Paradise Island, Bahamas (Atlantis)

Pool photo

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