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Heel Tough Blog: Tar Heels Revealed Home-and-Home with Kansas

Stephen Lew- USA Today Sports

When Roy Williams was the head coach of Carolina Basketball, he made it known that the Tar Heels would never engage in a home and home with the Kansas Jayhawks, given his history with the Kansas program, and being too emotional having to walk out of the visitors' locker room. With Coach Williams now well into his retirement, another sign that Hubert Davis is putting his stamp on the program, is putting together his non-conference schedule, which will now feature, a home and home with KU, starting in 2024-25.

The Tar Heels will travel to Lawrence for the second time ever, and the first time since 1960, next year, with Kansas set to make their first-ever trip to Chapel Hill the following season. College basketball is a sport built on its blue bloods, which Carolina and Kansas both qualify as. Combined, they have 10 national championships and 37 Final Fours. Carolina is first in Final Four appearances, and first in NCAA Tournament victories. Meanwhile, Kansas ranks in the top seven for wins, Final Fours, and national championships.

Even though Carolina and Kansas haven’t played much in the regular season, they have met plenty in the NCAA Tournament. Most recently, Kansas defeated Carolina in the 2022 national title game in New Orleans. The most famous game between the two programs is the 1957 national championship, where Carolina defeated Kansas, and Wilt Chamberlain, to finish the season 32-0. When Coach Williams was at Kansas, he defeated Coach Smith in the 1991 Final Four. Two years later, UNC returned the favor, as they went on to win the national championship. Coach Williams was 0-3 against Kansas in the NCAA Tournament, losing to the Jayhawks in the 2008 Final Four, the 2012 Elite Eight, and the second round in 2013.

While Kansas is set to make their first ever trip to Chapel Hill, they’ve played UNC in the Tar Heel State, back in 1959, and in 1981, when Michael Jordan made his UNC debut. Carolina won in Lawrence back in 1960, during Frank McGuire’s last season as Carolina’s head coach.

Coach Williams isn’t the only Carolina head coach to have Kansas ties, as Coach Smith was a Kansas alum, having played for the legendary Phog Allen in the 1950s. When you look at the staff that Coach Williams put together, most of them were former Kansas players, only tightening the bond between the two national powers.

Now that you have your history lesson for today, let’s focus on what really matters. This is a massive win for the game of college basketball, as you very rarely see these types of matchups happen on campus. From a TV perspective, this will give the college basketball season some juice in the non-conference portion of the season, which is usually highlighted for the holiday tournaments.

Lastly, after years of seeing Carolina play the most competitive non-conference schedule in college basketball under Coach Williams, it doesn’t look like that’s going to change under

Hubert Davis, as he tries to get his squad ready to compete for conference and national championships.


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