It’s been a fun journey through the 2022 college basketball season, but now we are at the beginning of the ends.
Tonight is going to be the last game of the regular season in the Smith Center and that means Senior Night for three guys who have that designation: Leaky Black, Brady Manek, and Ryan McAdoo. Things are going to look a little different for this Senior Night, as the ceremonies are going to happen pregame and there aren’t any speeches planned. There’s also a question about whether this will actually be the last game in Chapel Hill for a couple of these guys thanks to the extra COVID year. This could be a factor in the change in ceremony, or it could just be Hubert Davis bringing back the way Senior Night was done in the Dean Smith era.
There are, of course bigger issues at play here for Carolina than ceremony. The biggest one is whether one of those seniors, Leaky Black, will even be able to play after hyperextending his knee in the first half of Saturday’s game. Supposedly if the game on Saturday were closer, Black would have come back in as he took layup lines. However, the Tar Heels had that game safely in hand and Puff Johnson provided great minutes in his place, so even if he plays it wouldn’t be surprising if his minutes were on the lower side so that he's ready for March.
The other issues pertains to March: tournament seeding. After Saturday’s action, the Tar Heels sit in third place by themselves in the ACC, and a win tonight locks in a finish that’ll be no worse than fourth place. That means being able to relax and not having to play in Brooklyn until Thursday, not a small thing considering how thin this year’s rotation has been. Second and third place aren’t out of reach, but first thing’s first, gotta lock in that double-bye.
All of this is against the backdrop of the vaunted 2-3 zone of Syracuse as the Orange hope to rebound from their thrashing from Duke on Saturday. If you can’t be in Chapel Hill to take in the Senior Day festivities — and a reminder if you do have a ticket get there early because everything will happen pregame — here’s how you can catch the action.
- Time: 7:00 PM ET
- Location: Roy Williams Court at the Dean E. Smith Center - Chapel Hill, NC
- TV: ESPN with Dan Shulman doing play-by-play, Cory Alexander providing color, and Andraya Carter on the sidelines
- Radio: Tar Heel Sports Network (list of affiliates) with Jones Angell on play-by-play, and Eric Montross as analyst. THSN is available online through GoHeels.com, The Varsity Network for free, and the TuneIn app for a subscription. On Sirius XM, the THSN broadcast will air both on channel and on-line 371.
- Streaming: The Watch ESPN app on all your various devices will air the ESPN broadcast
- Line: UNC -7