UNC Basketball is right around the corner. It seems like just a few weeks ago the season was in full swing, but here we go again.
Looking into the schedule, as always, there are days that we know will be tough, days we know will be easy, some days we think will be easy that turn out to be tough, and tough days that turn out to be either nightmares or surprisingly easy. That said, let’s tackle the match-ups that look on paper to be tough.
We’ll probably come out of Late Night with Roy okay. An exhibition against UNC-Pembroke then home against Oakland gets us to the Hall of Fame Tipoff. One of the teams is usually surprisingly good. I’m going to guess that will be Richmond. If I’m wrong and it is Belmont, sue me. That gets us to UNC’s first big test against Louisville (or Fairfield… the team not the hotel chain)
Down to UAB to see old friends in Birmingham after that, then the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Michigan State is waiting for UNC there, in East Lansing. I’m sure they’re still sore over 09, and that one should be a good game.
More friends at home this time against UNC-Greensboro, then the big questions arise. Who will or won’t be there for UNC vs. Kentucky on December 14th at the Dean E Smith Center? Regardless, they’ll be young and we’ll have a team there, so it’ll be a good game.
I never have a feel for how Texas is going to be as a basketball team. When I think they’re going to be good, they’re dreadful. When I think they’re going to be awful, they’re a solid team. I think they’ll be decent, so I have zero clue how this game is going to work out. I’m hoping it’ll be in the category of “tough game that wasn’t tough after all”. We’re playing them in Chapel Hill, so that should help.
Then comes the conference schedule. Miami is at UNC, so that should be a good thing, but it is followed 3 days later by a trip to Syracuse. Have you ever been to northern New York in January? Probably not. It snows a lot and it is cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold cold. I’m not saying the weather will play a part in the game, but I’m telling you it would effect me. Or affect me. Probably both, as my blood is fairly thin.
Clemson at home may prove to be tricky. I mean, they’re due. But they’ve been due for 247 years, so maybe not.
State at UNC is always fun. Notre Dame at South Bend could be tricky. Duke is Duke, and we get first shot at them at UNC. Florida State is a bear to play in Florida, so that could be tricky too. Then back around to see NCSU in Raleigh, which if UNC gets up early, won’t be too bad. Then back to Duke at Duke.
So, if you’re a UNC fan, which I’m guessing you are if you are reading this article, enjoy the first couple games and the brief sojourn in late December because this is one fairly brutal schedule. If they can keep their confidence and learn through the losses, this will be one of the most tested (if not THE most tested) teams come tournament time, and isn’t that when it really matters anyway?