Men’s Basketball Braces For Brutal Gauntlet
Forget all that you knew about the Atlantic Coast Conference. This is your new-look ACC and get used to it. The Tar Heels will only face two members of the original ACC in their home Smith Center slate. Let that sink in.
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UNC will face a daunting slate of games next season, including home and away games against new member and perennial powerhouse Louisville, as well as Duke, NC State and Georgia Tech.
The ACC released the conference schedules for the next two basketball seasons Tuesday.
Each of the ACC’s 16 member institutions has two regular schedule partners for home and away games. The Blue Devils and the Wolfpack are the two regular opponents for the Tar Heels.
In the 2014-15 campaign, Carolina will host Florida State, Notre Dame, Syracuse, Virginia and Virginia Tech and travel to league foes Boston College, Clemson, Miami, Pittsburgh and Wake Forest.
The schedule no doubt promises to be an intriguing one for Tar Heel ticket holders. For the first time since 1998, Rick Pitino’s Cardinals will visit Chapel Hill for a showdown in the Dean Dome while Syracuse will be facing off with UNC for the first time ever in Chapel Hill.
The 2014-15 schedule will be the ACC’s third season with 18 conference games. UNC finished with a 12-6 mark in league play in 2012-13 and went 13-5 this past season.
The ACC Digital Network’s Jeff Fischel wonders whether the Tar Heels can get back on track in the upcoming season.
“You didn’t make the Elite Eight the last two seasons. That’s the first two-year drought of the Roy Williams era. Do you make a deep run next year?” Fischel says.
The following year, in 2015-16, UNC will play two games against Duke, NC State, Boston College and Syracuse while tasked with tough away games only at Florida State, Louisville, Notre Dame, Virginia and Virginia Tech.And that’s just the ACC gauntlet. Carolina will be facing an always formidable Kentucky Wildcat team next season and will also be playing in a preseason tournament field in the Bahamas with Wisconsin and Florida – that makes three of the four Final Four teams in 2014 as potential opponents looming for Head Coach Roy Williams’ troops.
But with Marcus Paige, Brice Johnson, Kennedy Meeks and J.P. Tokoto all returning along with the additions of a trio of highly touted recruits in Justin Jackson, Theo Pinson and Joel Berry, the Tar Heels should be well equipped to take on one of the toughest schedules in the country.