IT’S HAPPENING!!! After a long, long time of waiting without even the usual injections of pseudo-basketball to keep us afloat, UNC Basketball is finally back in action tonight, hosting the College of Charleston Cougars to open what’s going to be probably the strangest college basketball season any of us is likely to ever see. But what’s important is that the sport we all love is back, and we should enjoy every game we get to see, because nothing is guaranteed right now.
The Heels will open this decade of basketball by hosting a fairly local foe that they haven’t seen since the opening of the 2010’s, when John Henson and company edged out the Cougars in Chapel Hill, 74-69, to end a 3-year home-and-home-and-home with the program that ended up going entirely with the home teams, which is to say 2-1 in the Tar Heels’ favor. UNC owns the overall series lead, but just barely, 4-3 (it’s 3-3 according to CofC’s athletics website and the Daily Tar Heel, but other sources, including GoHeels.com, have it 4-3). This matchup marks the start of another 2-for-1 between the two programs, meaning UNC will travel to Charleston next year.
The Cougars finished last season 17-14 (11-7 CAA) and 4th in their conference, the Colonial Athletic Association, on the back of newly minted Charlotte Hornet Grant Riller. They are expected to regress a little this year, but they do have enough talent to be interesting.
There have still been no updates beyond “reduced capacity” as to whether or not there will be fan attendance at the game, which is probably an indicator that there probably won’t be any fans beyond players’ families and coaches at this first game in the Smith Center. We’ll keep you posted if this situation changes or there is any official announcement from UNC.
And finally before we get to the capsule nuggets, it looks like UNC will be wearing the same uniform designs as last year (though with newly announced navy alternates), though similar to what we saw in the NBA bubble earlier this year, we may be seeing some messages under players’ numbers:
Tipoff: 6:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time
Location: Dean E Smith Center, Chapel Hill, NC
TV: ACC Network
Streaming: The ACC Network is streamed on ESPN.com/watch for all with TV logins of the kind that carry the ACC Network.
Betting: At time of writing, the line is UNC - 17.0 with the O/U at 142.5.
Finally, we’d like to say a long-awaited welcome to the college basketball seeason, and Go Heels!