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The Daily Tar Heel

After missing 2023 NCAA Tournament, UNC men's basketball awaits challenging 2023-24 schedule

UNC senior guard RJ Davis (4) drives forward at the UNC men’s basketball scrimmage versus St. Augustine’s on Friday, Oct. 27, 2023 in the Dean E. Smith Center. The Tar Heels won 117-53.

After missing the NCAA tournament last March, the preseason No. 19 UNC men’s basketball team will look to right the ship this season.

That path won't be easy. The Tar Heels’ schedule includes matchups against fellow blue bloods, the reigning national champions and plenty of ranked Power Five programs.

Here’s a breakdown of the 2023-2024 schedule.

UNC will open its season in early November with three home tune-up games against mid-majors Radford, Lehigh and UC Riverside.

The Tar Heels will then travel to the Bahamas over Thanksgiving break as they compete for the third time in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament. After a matchup against Northern Iowa in the first round on Nov. 22, UNC’s second game should prove to be its first real test of the season, facing either No. 22 Villanova or Texas Tech. The final game in the Bahamas will see the Tar Heels face off against one of the following opponents: Memphis, No. 14 Arkansas, Michigan or future ACC member Stanford.

Traveling back home, North Carolina will welcome preseason No. 9 Tennessee on Nov. 29 in the ACC/SEC challenge. Deep depth from the Vols, coupled with point guard Zakai Zeigler's potential return from injury, will test UNC’s defense early in the season.

North Carolina will host Florida State on Dec. 2 to open ACC play. A quick three-day turnaround will then take UNC to Madison Square Garden in New York, where the Tar Heels will face the defending national champions, the Connecticut Huskies, in the Jimmy V Classic.

Preseason No. 6 UConn will return with most of its offense from last year, with key players like sophomores Donovan Clingan and Alex Karaban looking to expand their roles.

An 11-day break will allow North Carolina to regroup ahead of this year's CBS Sports Classic in Atlanta, where UNC will face No. 16 Kentucky. The last meeting between the Tar Heels and Wildcats was in the 2021 CBS Sports Classic, with UNC losing 98-69, despite a 22-point double-double from then-junior Armando Bacot. 

North Carolina will play its third consecutive neutral-court game on Dec. 20 in Charlotte, facing Oklahoma in the second annual Jumpman Invitational.

After a final nonconference game against Charleston Southern, the Tar Heels will dive into ACC play in early January with a three-game road stretch against Pittsburgh, Clemson and N.C. State. The rebuilding Wolfpack team will be looking for new pieces alongside center D.J. Burns after star guard Terquavion Smith left for the NBA.

On Jan. 13, UNC will return home to play Syracuse for the first time since the retirement of longtime head coach Jim Boeheim. After matchups against Louisville, Boston College, Wake Forest, FSU and Georgia Tech, the Tar Heels will compete in one of the most anticipated matchups of the season — a home game against preseason No. 2 Duke on Feb. 3. Since the Blue Devils got the better of the Tar Heels in both meetings last year, North Carolina will be looking to defeat Duke for the first time in the Jon Scheyer era.

After that rivalry matchup, UNC will face Clemson at home, travel to face No. 13 Miami and Syracuse, and then return back home to play Virginia Tech — all in the first half of February. The Tar Heels will then make the trek up to Charlottesville to take on Virginia on Feb. 24 — facing the team that ended the Tar Heels’ season last March, after North Carolina lost 68-59 in the ACC Tournament quarterfinals. 

UNC will once again match up against Miami and N.C. State at home before facing Notre Dame on March 5, which will see graduate guard Cormac Ryan match up against his former team.

The final game of the regular season will feature none other than Duke on March 9. The following Tuesday will mark the start of the ACC Tournament which will be held in Washington, D.C.


@dthsports |

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