By R.L. Bynum
The higher the expectations, the more likely a team will play games that start later, which is the case for Carolina’s women’s basketball team.
After playing only two ACC games that started at 8 p.m. last season, the Tar Heels have four such games this coming season, including home games against Florida State (Dec. 29), Duke (Jan. 19) and Virginia Tech (Feb. 23) and a road game against N.C. State (Feb. 16). There could potentially be a fifth since the time for the Jan. 15 home game against the Wolfpack hasn’t been set.
The ACC announced the starting times for all of its women’s basketball games on Wednesday afternoon.
UNC plays one game at 11 a.m. (Nov. 16 against South Carolina State) and two games at noon (Feb. 5 at Louisville and the regular-season finale on Feb. 26 at Duke.)
Coach Courtney Banghart’s fourth season comes after the Tar Heels went 25–7 and earned the program’s first Sweet 16 berth since 2015, which has helped boost the sale of season tickets, which can be purchased here. UNC returns junior starters in guards Deja Kelly and Kennedy Todd-Williams, wing Alyssa Ustby and center Anya Poole.
In an odd scheduling quirk, James Madison’s men’s team plays Carolina on Dec. 20 at the Smith Center in a noon game, and the Dukes’ women’s team plays host to the Tar Heels at 2 p.m. that day.
On Sunday, Feb. 19, the men’s team plays N.C. State in Raleigh at 1 p.m. and the women’s team faces Wake Forest at home at 4 p.m. That men’s game probably would have been scheduled for the day before if not for the Feb. 18 NHL Stadium Series game at Carter-Finley Stadium between the Carolina Hurricanes and the Washington Capitals.
Carolina plays in three events in the same cities as the men’s team.
Both play in the Phil Knight Invitational in Portland, with the women meeting Oregon at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day (ESPNU) in the four-team event. The Tar Heels will play against either Iowa State or Michigan State in the consolation game (1 p.m., ESPN2) or the championship game (7:30 p.m., ESPN2) on Sunday, Nov. 27.
Both play at Indiana in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, with the women’s team facing the Hoosiers on Thursday, Dec. 1, at 6 p.m., one day after the men’s teams meet.
Both play Michigan in the Jumpman Invitational in Charlotte at the Hornets’ arena. The women face the Wolverines at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 20, one day before the men’s teams play.
|16||Wednesday||93–25||South Carolina State||Home||3–0|
|20||Sunday||76–65||James Madison||Harrisonburg, Va.||4–0|
|Phil Knight Invitational|
|24||Thursday||85–79||No. 18 Oregon||Portland||5–0|
|27||Sunday||73–64||No. 5 Iowa State||Portland||6–0|
|December||ACC/Big Ten Challenge|
|1||Thursday||6 p.m.||No. 6 Indiana||Bloomington, Ind.||Big Ten Network|
|7||Wednesday||6 p.m.||UNCW||Home||ACCNX (ESPN3)|
|11||Sunday||1 p.m.||Wofford||Home||ACCNX (ESPN3)|
|16||Friday||6 p.m.||South Carolina – Upstate||Home||ACCNX (ESPN3)|
|20||Tuesday||7 p.m.||No. 22 Michigan||Charlotte||ESPN2|
|ACC season begins|
|29||Thursday||8 p.m.||Florida State||Home||RSN|
|1||Sunday||4 p.m.||No. 11 Virginia Tech||Blacksburg, Va.||ACCN|
|5||Thursday||6 p.m.||Miami||Coral Gables, Fla.||ACCNX (ESPN3)|
|8||Sunday||4 p.m.||No. 7 Notre Dame||Home||ACCN|
|12||Thursday||7 p.m.||Virginia||Charlottesville, Va.||ACCNX (ESPN3)|
|15||Sunday||3:30||No. 13 N.C. State||Home||ESPN|
|22||Sunday||4 p.m.||Georgia Tech||Home||ACCN|
|26||Thursday||6 p.m.||Pittsburgh||Pittsburgh||ACCNX (ESPN3)|
|5||Sunday||Noon||No. 10 Louisville||Louisville||ESPN2|
|9||Thursday||7 p.m.||Syracuse||Syracuse||ACCNX (ESPN3)|
|12||Sunday||Noon||Boston College||Home||ACCNX (ESPN3)|
|16||Thursday||8 p.m.||No. 13 N.C. State||Raleigh||ACCN|
|19||Sunday||4 p.m.||Wake Forest||Home||ACCN|
|23||Thursday||8 p.m.||No. 11 Virginia Tech||Home||RSN|
|1–5||Wednesday–Sunday||TBA||TBA||Greensboro||ACCN Wed.-Sat.; final on ESPN or ESPN2|
Photo courtesy of the ACC