The Tar heels have been ranked eighth on Myron Metcalf’s Way Too Early Top 25 Preseason Poll on ESPN. Last season, they finished 12-2 (only losses to Ohio State and Wofford) in non-conference play.
There has not been an established date yet, but the Tar heels will face Mount Olive in an exhibition game. Last year, the division two school lost in the Conference Carolina’s Quaterfinals to Limestone by two.
The Tar heels open the regular season with two away games at Wofford and Elon. On November 6th, the Tar heels will face the Terriers in Spartanburg, SC. Fletcher Magee and the Terriers defeated tenth ranked tar heels in the Dean E. Smith Center, 79-75. Magee dropped 27 points and Cameron Jackson recorded 18 points, and 9 rebounds. All-SoCon selections Fletcher Magee, Cameron Jackson, and Storm Murphy will be returning next year. The Tar heels will be the first opponent in Elon’s new Schar Center on November 9th.
After those two road games, the Tar heels will host three games at home: Nov. 12 versus Stanford, Nov.16 versus Tennessee Tech, and Nov.19 versus Saint Francis (PA). The Cardinal’s head coach, Jerod Haase, played for Roy Williams at Kansas, and was also his assistant in Chapel Hill from 2003-2012. Saint Francis (PA) did not end their season during the Northeast Conference tournament, they continued on into postseason play by participating in the College Insider Tournament (CIT).
UNC has been included in the Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational alongside Michigan State, Texas, and UCLA. For the ACC/Big 10 Challenge, UNC will travel to Michigan on November 28. This will be a rematch of last year’s ACC/Big 10 Challenge between UNC and Michigan, where the Tar Heels defeated Michigan at home, 86-71.
UNC Wilmington and Gonzaga will face the Tar heels in the Dean E. Smith Center on Dec. 5 and Dec. 15. Wilmington’s head coach, CB McGrath, played for Williams in Kansas, and was also on Carolina’s staff from 2003-2017. Gonzaga and UNC have faced each other three times. Roy Williams and Gonzaga’s Mark Few have the two highest career winning percentages among active NCAA coaches. Kentucky and Carolina will both travel to Chicago for the CBS Sports Classic on December 22. This will be the first meeting of the Wildcats and Tar heels since the 2017 NCAA South Regional Final, where Carolina defeated Kentucky, 75-73.
The last two non-conference games will be in Chapel Hill against Davidson (Dec. 29) and Harvard (Jan.2). Last year, Davidson won the Atlantic 10 Tournament but lost in the first round of NCAA Tournament to Kentucky by five. In the regular season, Davidson lost to UNC by ten. Harvard had post season experience last season by participating in the National Invitational Tournament (NIT).