By R.L. Bynum
Home games with Duke and against a pair of top 10 teams from a year ago in Louisville and N.C. State highlight North Carolina’s ACC women’s basketball schedule, which was released Wednesday night.
The Tar Heels’ league opener in Coach Courtney Banghart’s third season in Chapel Hill is Dec. 19 at Boston College.
After the Tar Heels’ final regular-season nonconference game at home Dec. 21 against Alabama State, it is all ACC games, beginning with a Dec. 30 home game against Syracuse.
Carolina, coming off a 13–11 season that produced an NCAA tournament berth, should be improved with a four-player freshman class ranked No. 2 in the country in addition two experienced point guard transfers.
Among the returning players, sophomore guard Deja Kelly was UNC’s leader in scoring average (11.0 points per game), assists (69), 3-pointers (27) and free throws (68) last season.
UNC faces Duke in Durham on Jan. 27 and in Chapel Hill on Feb. 27.
The Blue Devils were 3–1 and had just been blown out 73–49 at home against Louisville on Dec. 9 when they opted out of the rest of the season. Carolina hasn’t met Duke since the Blue Devils completed a season sweep with a 74–54 victory over UNC in Carmichael Arena on March 1, 2020.
Duke welcomes seven transfers and two freshmen.
Reigning ACC champion N.C. State, which was No. 3 in the final AP poll last season before losing to Indiana 73–70 in a regional semifinal, faces the Tar Heels in Raleigh on Jan. 6 and in Chapel Hill on Jan. 30. The home team won both meetings last season, with UNC winning 76–69 on Feb. 9 and the Wolfpack winning 82–63 on Feb. 29.
The Feb. 17 visit by Louisville, which was No. 8 in the final poll and lost 78–63 to Stanford in a regional final, will be UNC’s only meeting with the Cardinals. A Carolina rally fell short at Louisville last season when the Cardinals beat the Tar Heels 79–68 on Jan. 28.
This is the third season that the ACC has used a three-division scheduling plan with Carolina, Duke, N.C. State, Virginia and Virginia Tech in the Central; Boston College, Louisville, Notre Dame, Pitt and Syracuse in the North; and Clemson, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Miami and Wake Forest in the South.
Under the division system, which is only used for scheduling, teams meet everybody in their division at home and on the road and face five teams outside of their division only at home and five outside the division only on the road.
For this season, UNC’s non-division home-only opponents are Clemson (Jan. 2), Louisville, Miami (Feb. 6), Pittsburgh (Feb. 10) and Syracuse (Dec. 30). The Tar Heels will only face Boston College, Florida State (Feb. 20), Georgia Tech (Jan. 23), Notre Dame (Jan. 16) and Wake Forest (Feb. 3) on the road.
UNC women’s basketball schedule
|Date||Day, time, TV||H/A||Opponent|
|Nov. 9||Tuesday, TBA||Home||N.C. A&T|
|Nov. 14||Sunday, TBA||Road||Charlotte|
|Nov. 17||Wednesday, TBA||Home||Appalachian State|
|Nov. 21||X-Sunday, TBA||Road||TCU|
|Nov. 26||Y-Friday, TBA||Bimini, Bahamas||VCU or Washington|
|Nov. 27||Y-Saturday, TBA||Bimini, Bahamas||VCU or Washington|
|Dec. 1||X-Wednesday, TBA||Road||Minnesota|
|Dec. 5||Sunday, TBA||Home||James Madison|
|Dec. 12||Sunday, TBA||Home||UNC Asheville|
|Dec. 15||Wednesday, TBA||Home||Jacksonville|
|Dec. 19||Sunday, TBA||Road||Boston College|
|Dec. 21||Tuesday, TBA||Home||Alabama State|
|Dec. 30||Thursday, 6 p.m., ACCN||Home||Syracuase|
|Jan. 2||Sunday, 6 p.m., ACCN||Home||Clemson|
|Jan. 6||Thursday, 8 p.m., ACCN||Road||N.C. State|
|Jan. 9||Sunday, 6 p.m, ACCN||Home||Virginia Tech|
|Jan. 16||Sunday, 1 p.m., RSN||Road||Notre Dame|
|Jan. 20||Thursday, TBA||Home||Virginia|
|Jan. 23||Sunday, noon, ACCN||Road||Georgia Tech|
|Jan. 27||Thursday, TBA||Road||Duke|
|Jan. 30||Sunday, noon or 4, ESPN/ACCN||Home||N.C. State|
|Feb. 3||Thursday, 8 p.m., RSN||Road||Wake Forest|
|Feb. 6||Sunday, noon, ACCN||Home||Miami|
|Feb. 10||Thursday, TBA||Home||Pittsburgh|
|Feb. 13||Sunday, TBA||Road||Virginia Tech|
|Feb. 17||Thursday, 6 p.m., RSN||Home||Louisville|
|Feb. 20||Sunday, noon, RSN||Road||Florida State|
|Feb. 24||Thursday, TBA||Road||Virginia|
|Feb. 27||Sunday, TBA, ESPN/ACCN||Home||Duke|
X — ACC/Big Ten Challenge; Y —Goombay Splash; Z — Maggie Dixon Classic
Photo courtesy of UNC Athletics Communications