#1 UNC at UNC-Asheville

Where: Kimmel Arena, Asheville, NC
When: Sunday, November 13th, 4:00 PM
Records: UNC 1-0; UNC-A 0-1

We interrupt the blog to bring you this message from the Admiral Ackbar Alert System:


In a travel schedule that would make the NBA blush, Carolina left the flight deck of the USS Carl Vinson after Friday night's win over Michigan State, went back to the hotel to shower and pack, then took the red-eye back east for Sunday afternoon's tilt against UNC-Asheville. Less than 48 hours and 2,300 miles removed from the opener against the Spartans, UNC returns to Roy Williams' stomping grounds to christen Asheville's new Kimmel Arena. The Bulldogs return four starters from a team that won the Big South tournament last year to advance to the NCAA's big dance, and are the preseason league favorite for 2011-12.

Asheville has a solid backcourt led by seniors Matt Dickey, the preseason Big South player of the year, and J.P. Primm. Dickey had 17 points in the Bulldogs' 84-75 loss on Friday at NC State. UNC-A should be grossly under-sized inside against Carolina, and the Bulldogs gave up a huge advantage both on the boards and in transition to State. In other words, Carolina should be expected to control rebounds and get out in transition, areas in which UNC struggled at times on Friday against Michigan State.

You have to give Roy Williams and Carolina credit: they are truly living up to the old line about playing anyone, anywhere, anytime. Most big-time programs would not play on the road against a low-major school, much less one with four returning starters who won a game in the NCAA tournament last year. Add in the hype of opening a new arena and the effects of a cross-country flight just 36 hours before, and this game just screams trap. You can be forgiven for having flashbacks of the last time UNC went to open a new building at College of Charleston and the death spiral that befell the 2010 team after that loss. But this is a different time and a different team. UNC-A is a good squad and will not roll over for the Heels, but they will not have enough firepower to stay with Carolina.

UNC 86, UNC-A 68

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