The Tar Heels are back from the Bahamas, fresh off their first loss of the season but still managing to bring home a 2-1 record. You’d be excused for writing off the Villanova loss as a very weird game in multiple ways, but it’s really good to see them respond the way that they did against a ranked Arkansas team that was under pressure themselves to avoid having three losses this early in the season while anticipating a coming game against a Final Four contender in Duke.
As the Tar Heels won last week without Armando Bacot playing at his best, without Cormac Ryan playing at all on Friday, and with Harrison Ingram exploding into maybe the best transfer to join the Tar Heels, the crowd should be rowdy to welcome Rick Barnes and his Volunteers back to the Smith Center tonight. He seems to have taken his defeats to Dean Smith personally, as his subsequent Texas and Tennessee teams have fared really well against the Tar Heels. They are coming off a rough stretch themselves, having gone only 1-2 in a murderous Maui Invitational that saw them face off against both Purdue and Kansas.
So, for the second game in a row, the Tar Heels will be facing a strong SEC team coming off a loss and looking to keep their season from going into a bit of a tail spin. This before the Tar Heels start conference play Saturday, then go up to New York next week to face the defending national champions. In other words, we are in the heart of a tough non-conference schedule that will tell us a ton about this team.
A reminder for those going—tonight is a white-out at the Smith Center and they aren’t providing the t-shirts, so if you’re going, wear your white UNC gear. If you aren’t going, here’s how you can catch the action.
- Time: 7:15 PM ET
- Location: Dean Smith Center, Chapel Hill, NC
- TV: ESPN, with Karl Ravech and Jimmy Dykes (for the fourth straight game) on the call.
- Radio: Tar Heel Sports Network with Jones Angell. Here’s a list of affiliates airing the THSN broadcast. You can also listen to them on GoHeels.com, The Varsity Network, and TuneIn.
- Streaming: The ESPN broadcast can be streamed on Watch ESPN—although you’ll need a cable/satellite/streaming login to use it.
- Line: UNC -1 per Draftkings.com