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Heel Tough Blog: Heels Learn Opponent for 2024 ACC/SEC Challenge


AP News

With the roster all but finalized for 2024-25, the last step ahead of the upcoming season is the non-conference schedule coming together, and that’s exactly what happened today for UNC, as they learned their opponent for the annual ACC/SEC Challenge. With many different options on the table for UNC, including a potential rematch with Tennessee from last season, having John Calipari visit Chapel Hill, or revisiting the rivalry with Kentucky, it ultimately ended up being Alabama, who ended Carolina’s season in the Sweet 16 last season. The Crimson Tide will visit Chapel Hill, and will likely be a top-5 team when they do so, after returning Mark Sears, along with filling out their roster quite well in the transfer portal. 


Alabama has beaten Carolina in back-to-back seasons, although UNC is 8-6 all-time against the Crimson Tide. UNC beat Tennessee last season in Chapel Hill, in the first year of the ACC/SEC Challenge, which of course replaced the ACC/Big 10 Challenge. While Alabama figures to be a top-5 team, so does Carolina, with RJ Davis returning for his super senior season, along with the arrival of two McDonald’s All-Americans, and two productive transfers, meaning that this could be a Final Four preview in late November, or early December. 


With Alabama becoming a known opponent, Carolina now knows eight of their opponents for the 2024 portion of the non-conference schedule, including Hofstra, Kansas, American, Hawaii, La Salle, Florida, and UCLA. The Heels will compete in the 2024 Maui Invitational, which features two-time defending national champion UConn, but Carolina has yet to learn their first opponent for the event, as the bracket hasn’t been released yet. With 20 conference games to follow the non-conference, there is a chance that Carolina’s non-conference schedule is complete. 


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