North Carolina junior Alyssa Utsby was named to the USA Basketball Women’s 3×3 U23 Nations League roster on Tuesday. She joins Duke senior Celeste Taylor and Notre Dame junior Maddy Westbeld on the six-player roster after 11 players were invited to try out. Others on the team are Aaliya Moore of Texas, Kayla Wells of Texas A&M and Maddy Siegrist of Villanova.
The NCAA has dramatically changed how regionals will work in the women’s basketball tournament for the 2023 season. It could mean North Carolina’s potential path to the Final Four would include four games in the Carolinas. Instead of four regional sites for the Sweet 16 and the Elite Eight, there will only be two — at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, S.C., and the Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle. Each site will be the host for two regionals.
Coming off a Sweet 16 appearance last season, North Carolina’s women’s basketball team faces a challenging nonconference schedule that includes two opponents who also made it that far in last season’s NCAA tournament. The Tar Heels (25-7 last season) open at home on Nov. 9 against Jackson State, which won the SWAC and made the NCAA tournament.
Today’s Carolina fans couldn’t imagine the humble roots of women’s basketball on campus, even after Title IX passed, for a program that has won a national championship and could contend for another next season. The head coach driving the team to games in station wagons or vans, four players packing into each motel room, fast food road meals, a dangerously small home gym and unflattering and sexist nicknames in short Daily Tar Heel articles — including Tar Babes, UNC Lassies, Tar Heelets and Femme Cagers — marked the early years when games drew little attention and fans didn’t need to buy a ticket.
When it’s UNC’s turn during ACC Network School Takeovers on Tuesday, you’ll see 10 memorable victories in nine sports from the last school year that aired on an ESPN channel. You won’t see the Tar Heels’ Final Four victory over Duke because that aired on TBS, but you’ll get a chance to relive their 94–81 victory in Durham to ruin Coach Mike Krzyzewski’s last home game (6 p.m.), a softball no-hitter, an amazing football comeback and three ACC Tournament championship wins.
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.
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.
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.
For the first time in three offseasons, Coach Courtney Banghart won’t bring in any transfers at a time when hundreds of players are switching schools. With her Carolina women’s basketball team projected by ESPN to be in the top 10 next season, the Tar Heels have all the talent they need after last season’s Sweet 16 run.
CHAPEL HILL — North Carolina women’s lacrosse stars have been here before — undefeated, top-ranked, No. 1 seed and in the NCAA tournament quarterfinals. The Tar Heels (18–0) are in the same situation as a year ago, facing Stony Brook at Dorrance Field with a Final Four berth on the line. But five-time All-America attacker Jamie Ortega says that they are in a different place as they prepare to play the No. 8-ranked Seawolves (16–2) at 7:30 Thursday night (ESPNU).
It’s been 13 seasons since the combined anticipation of Carolina’s men’s and women’s basketball seasons has been this high, with both Final Four contenders. The AP Top 25 poll before the 2009–10 season was the last preseason list that ranked both teams in the top 10. The last time both made a preseason AP Top 25 was with the women No. 13 and men No. 6 before the 2014–15 season. If casual women’s basketball followers were ever going to increase their support to help fill Carmichael Arena, now would be the time.
Carolina’s Morasha Wiggins, who played only 181 minutes in 21 games during her freshman season, has reportedly entered the transfer portal. The news was first reported Thursday by Em Adler of The Next, then by WBB Blog publisher Raoul. Adler reported that Wiggins’ finalists are Michigan State, Ohio State, DePaul, Georgia Tech, USC, Kentucky at Oklahoma