It has taken some time, but the first non-conference schedule of the Hubert Davis Era is official, as Carolina will play 12 games out of conference, in addition to their 20 ACC games, which will be released at a later time. The Hubert Davis Era will officially begin on November 9th against Loyola (Maryland) in Chapel Hill. UNC will then follow that up with another home game against Brown on the 12th. Before starting competition in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Classic, UNC will travel to the College of Charleston, for the first time since 2010, when the Cougars upset a then top 10 UNC squad. Once they arrive in Uncasville, their first opponent will be the Purdue Boilermakers, a likely preseason top 10 team, and will be the first test for the Tar Heels. Depending on the result against Purdue, UNC will then face either Villanova or Tennessee, also depending on the result of that contest. Villanova is going to be a preseason top 5 team, and a trendy pick to win the national championship. Tennessee figures to be highly ranked in the preseason as well and will be looking to bounce back after a collapse last season. Following that event, which Carolina will be looking to win for a second time (2014), UNC will head back home to host in-state opponent UNC-Asheville the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.
When the calendar shifts to December, the schedule will ramp up, as UNC will host Michigan in the annual ACC-Big 10 Challenge. It marks the third time in the last four seasons the two have met in the event, with both teams having won on their home floors. After that, Carolina has a 10 day layoff before they host Elon. The game with the Phoenix comes after their game last season was postponed, then canceled due to COVID-19. UNC will then host Furman on the 14th, as one final tuneup before they travel to take on UCLA in the CBS Sports Classic. The Bruins will also be a preseason top 10 team, and another trendy pick to win the national championship, after their magical run to the Final Four last season. Following the matchup with UCLA, UNC will finish out their non-conference season at home against Appalachian State, before starting ACC play.
The schedule doesn’t seem as daunting as we’re accustomed to under former head coach Roy Williams. UNC will only play one true road game, and that will come against a mid-major opponent. With that in mind, they will host a national title contender in Michigan, and take on two others in neutral sites. The games against Purdue and Tennessee will be a great test for this team's physicality as well. Nonetheless, this is a very manageable schedule for Carolina to stack wins, and gain confidence in their new system, all while being prepared for the gauntlet that is ACC Basketball.
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