Although it’s been just a month since last season ended with a thud thanks to a second-round NCAA Tournament loss to Texas A&M, the UNC men’s basketball team began the process of moving forward on Monday–with the release of the official non-conference schedule for the 2018-19 campaign.
A rematch of the 2017 national title game against Gonzaga at the Smith Center on Dec. 15 highlights the 14-game slate, which also includes a two-day Thanksgiving tournament in Las Vegas (Nov. 23-24) and a game in Chicago against Kentucky on Dec. 22.
The Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational has a field that includes Michigan State, Texas and UCLA in addition to the Tar Heels. Pairings will be announced later this summer.
UNC will also host Stanford (Nov. 12) and UNCW (Dec. 5), two teams coached by Jerod Haase and CB McGrath, respectively, two former assistants in Chapel Hill under Roy Williams.
An opponent for the annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge has yet to be determined.
For the first time since the 1986-87 campaign, the Tar Heels are scheduled to open the season with back-to-back games on the road.
Following an exhibition against Mount Olive (date TBA), UNC will travel to face Wofford in the season opener on Nov. 6, a rematch of a game won by the Terriers last year at the Dean Dome. Three days later, the Tar Heels are then scheduled to make a trip to Elon where they will be the first ever opponent in the brand new Schar Center.
The home opener in Chapel Hill next season will come on Nov. 12 against Stanford, with another home game against Tennessee Tech soon after on Nov. 16.
Other teams scheduled to visit the Dean Dome include: St. Francis (PA) (Nov. 19), Davidson (Dec. 29) and Harvard (Jan. 2).
ACC play will then begin the weekend of Jan. 5.
Photo via Todd Melet