It’s that time of the year again: Inside Carolina has announced that the Tar Heels will face off against Rutgers in a “secret scrimmage” game on October 22nd. For those who may not be familiar, this game is a “secret” because fans and media are not allowed to view the game per NCAA rules. Each program is allowed to have one of these games per year in place of a public exhibition game, and it gives both teams a chance to see where their teams are at before the regular season starts.
Following their secret scrimmage game against the Scarlet Knights, the Heels will play Johnson C Smith in a public exhibition game on October 28th. They will then get some time off before their first regular season game against UNC Wilmington on November 7th in the Dean Smith Center.
There is a lot to be excited for with this year’s Final Four team, as most of the roster has returned. Seth Trimble, Jalen Washington, Tyler Nickel, and Pete Nance join the roster this season, with Nance joining as a graduate transfer. Expectations for the team will likely be pretty high this season not only because of who stayed, but because they are arguably the most experienced and successful roster in the ACC. The typical schools are still in the picture, as always, but the Heels will be the ones with the biggest target on their back all season long.
As for the Scarlet Knights, they have now made back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances, and they finished in fourth place in the Big Ten last season, which is the highest finish they’ve achieved since joining the conference. Rutgers head coach Steve Pikiell is going into his sixth season with the team, and currently has a 98-91 record after the last three head coaches failed to hit a .500 win percentage. They should be a solid test for the Tar Heels in the scrimmage, and they just may be a good test for the rest of the Big Ten.
While fans are unable to witness this scrimmage game, they are able to attend Live Action this Friday at the Dean Smith Center. Doors will open at 6pm, and the festivities will kick off at 7:30.