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Heel Tough Blog: Tar Heels to Face Defending Champs in Jimmy V Classic

Craig Jones- Getty Images

The Tar Heels face one of the toughest schedules in the entire country year in and year out and the 2023-24 season will be no different. The team is scheduled to face UCLA, Tennessee and Oklahoma along with a trip to the Bahamas for the Battle 4 Atlantis, one of the toughest in-season tournament fields you can face. On Monday, the team's biggest challenge for the upcoming season was made official.

Earlier this afternoon it was confirmed by an ESPN release that the Tar Heels will be heading to Madison Square Garden again this season, this time to face the defending national champion Connecticut Huskies. The game will be a part of the Jimmy V Classic on December 5th and will be broadcasted on ESPN. This will be a battle of two of college basketball's most successful programs in recent history, with the two sides combining for seven of the 23 championships that have been won this decade. Combined, the two programs have 11 titles and 27 Final Four appearances.

This will be the seventh time that the two teams will meet with the Tar Heels having won five of the first six. The most recent meeting came back on February 2005 when the teams met in Hartford where the Tar Heels won 77-70.

This will be the Tar Heels 42nd trip to the Garden where the team has a 30-11 record all-time. The team’s last trip to the arena came last year in an overtime win over Ohio State.

The game will be the third time that the Tar Heels will participate in the Jimmy V Classic. The team beat Massachusetts in its first appearance 83-69 back in the 1996-97 season and lost to Indiana 82-73 in 1999-00.


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