The 2022-23 UNC basketball schedule was officially released Tuesday as we inch ever closer to the start of the new campaign.
For North Carolina, they enter the upcoming season as one of the favorites to cut the nets in April. But with that comes a target on his back.
UNC will be tested throughout the season, including facing a tough non-conference schedule before heading into the meat of the Atlantic Coast Conference schedule, which is always grueling. This will be good for the Tar Heels to get a sense of where they are and potentially improve if they have as well.
With practice starting in a few weeks, things will look up for Hubert Davis and the Tar Heels as they prepare for next season. But before we get into that, I wanted to give a few takeaways about the calendar launch on Tuesday.
Tar Heels will be tested from the start
January 26, 2022; Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States; North Carolina Tar Heels guard Caleb Love (2) reacts in the second half at the Dean E. Smith Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
North Carolina’s non-conference schedule is tough this season and will provide a test for this team that has immediate title aspirations. After non-conference games against UNCW, College of Charleston, Gardner-Webb and James Madison, the Tar Heels head to Oregon to play in the Phil Knight Invitational.
That’s a loaded field with Villanova, Michigan State, Alabama, Iowa State, Oregon and UCONN as potential opponents.
After that event, UNC has Indiana, Ohio State and Michigan waiting for them before the ACC plays. They play in Indiana and will have games at neutral sites against Ohio State and Michigan.
A little Big Ten flavor
January 9, 2022; Bloomington, Indiana, United States; Indiana Hoosiers forward Trayce Jackson-Davis (23) dribbles the ball in the second half against the Minnesota Golden Gophers at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
I mentioned it before, but as part of UNC’s non-conference schedule, they have three Big Ten teams to face and they will be three of the best teams in that conference.
In all, UNC could face four Big Ten teams as part of the non-conference schedule depending on what happens at the PK Invitational with Michigan State. If they meet, that would be the first Big Ten matchup for them this season.
Currently, they are scheduled to go to Indiana for the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, then play Ohio State at MSG and then a few days later take on Michigan in Charlotte.
We’ll see how UNC coincides with that conference from the beginning.
a starting path
March 11, 2022; Brooklyn, New York, United States; North Carolina Tar Heels guard RJ Davis (4) reacts during the second half of an ACC Tournament semifinal game against the Virginia Tech Hokies at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Two of North Carolina’s first three ACC games this year will be on the road in December.
They will open the season at Virginia Tech on Dec. 4 before the conference opener at home on Dec. 10 against Georgia Tech. They will then open the rest of the ACC schedule by playing at Pitt on Dec. 30 or 31. Sometimes these can be cheat games early in the conference season, but overcoming them could boost confidence early in the ACC game.
back to virginia
March 10, 2022; Brooklyn, New York, United States; North Carolina Tar Heels forward Armando Bacot (5) hangs from the rim after getting wet against Virginia Cavaliers shooting guard Armaan Franklin (4) and center Francisco Caffaro (22) during the second half at the Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
For the first time since the 2019-20 season, UNC will face Virginia twice in the regular season and make a trip to Charlottesville to face the Cavaliers.
Recently, the Cavaliers have been a drag on the Tar Heels as they have struggled against Tony Bennett’s team, especially on the road. UNC bucked the trend last season by beating the Cavaliers 74-58 at home and then again in the ACC Tournament.
Let’s see if UNC can keep up the winning streak.
A little break before Duke
April 2, 2022; New Orleans, LA, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels guard Puff Johnson (14) celebrates with guard Dontrez Styles (3) after beating the Duke Blue Devils in the 2022 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Final Four Semifinals at the Caesar’s Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
As a tradition, UNC will face hated rival Duke twice this year and host the season finale against the Blue Devils at home.
When the two teams meet in Durham on Feb. 4, it will be the second game of a three-game streak in seven days for the Tar Heels. They will host Pitt on February 1st and then play Wake Forest on February 7th.
But when the two teams wrap up the season, UNC will have four days off to prepare for the Blue Devils.
Before the March 4 meeting in Chapel Hill, UNC’s previous game will be on February 27 at Florida State.
The story originally appeared on Tarheels Wire