Another pandemic UNC season, with some aspects better but many of same concerns

By R.L. Bynum As No. 10 North Carolina heads into its opening football game Friday at Virginia Tech, there has been a shift toward normalcy in how the team proceeds on any given week in dealing with the pandemic. One big, obvious change is that there will be a capacity, and likely loud, crowd for …

Simmons back on UNC radio crew but will miss opener because a new football job

By R.L. Bynum There are no changes in the Tar Heel Sports Network radio crew for football except for Friday’s opener — because of Brian Simmons’ other job. Simmons, entering his sixth season as the analyst on the THSN, will miss the broadcast of the Virginia Tech game (6 p.m., ESPN) because he is the …

No panic after UNC field hockey starts 0–2 for the first time since 1992

By R.L. Bynum There is no panic within the best field hockey program in the country. But when Carolina starts the season 0–2 for the first time since 1992, that gets the everybody’s attention. No. 1-ranked and three-time reigning national champion UNC followed up a season-opening 3–2 Friday loss to No. 2 Michigan with a …

UNC’s women lose top recruiter but get experienced replacement, won’t need large upcoming classes

By R.L. Bynum After North Carolina’s women’s program brought in consecutive outstanding recruiting classes, the Tar Heels lost an integral part of that success in the offseason. Michigan native Carrie Moore, who was an assistant coach and UNC’s recruiting coordinator, left to take a similar position at Michigan. She spent the previous seven seasons on …

Games in Bahamas and against three Power 5 schools highlight UNC’s women’s schedule

By R.L. Bynum North Carolina’s women’s basketball non-conference schedule will be a lot more fun for the players than last year when the Tar Heels only left the state for ACC games. The best perk this season will bea a trip to Bahamas on Thanksgiving week to play in the Goombay Splash, facing VCU and …

An influx of talent heightens expectations for UNC’s women

By R.L. Bynum There are so many reasons that offseason excitement around the North Carolina women’s basketball program is soaring. It starts with the program-changing, four-player, No. 2-ranked freshman class that includes three McDonald’s All-Americans. Throwing two experienced point guard transfers, five talented returning sophomores (from a class ranked No. 11) and a core of …

Tar Heels highest in AP preseason poll since 1997

By R.L. Bynum For the first time since 1997, North Carolina is an Associated Press preseason top 10 team with the Tar Heels coming in at No. 10 in the preseason poll that came out Monday. It’s only the fourth time in program history that the Tar Heels have earned a preseason top 10 rank …

Carolina in the College Football Playoff? That’s the prediction of one publication

By R.L. Bynum Carolina enters the season with high expectations but there isn’t much talk about the Tar Heels making the College Football Playoff field. Pick Six Previews, which sells a preview book, is the exception. It predicts that UNC will make the CFP as the No. 4 seed, facing No. 1-seed Oklahoma in the …

Tar Heels make top 10 in preseason coaches poll

By R.L. Bynum North Carolina is No. 9 in the preseason USA Today Coaches Poll released Tuesday, the highest national preseason coaches poll ranking since the Tar Heels were No. 8 in 1997, the last season of Coach Mack Brown’s first stint in Chapel Hill. That season, UNC was ranked No. 7 in the preseason …

Howell will have greater control of play-calling, the playbook

By R.L. Bynum There is no doubt that this is Sam Howell’s team and offense as Carolina heads into a football season with plenty of hype, including his Heisman Trophy candidacy. During Howell’s junior, and no doubt final, season as a Tar Heel, that will be more true than last season. He will take more …