North Carolina will start the season with an early ACC bout with Notre Dame. Here are three keys to UNC Basketball starting the season with a victory.
College basketball is back and so are the North Carolina Tar Heels!
After a preseason run that saw the Heels beat Villanova 104-100 in a funky secret exhibition and the D-II Winston-Salem State Rams 96-61 last week, No. 9 UNC Basketball will finally get to play regular-season basketball Wednesday at 7:00 pm at home against the ACC’s very own Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
As part of the ACC’s new 20-game schedule, members of the conference will face off far earlier in the season, and UNC is no exception.
Returning only one starter, the top-10 ranked Heels will have to rely on a number of new faces in the primary rotation — five-star point guard Cole Anthony, five-star center Armando Bacot, graduate transfer Christian Keeling, and graduate transfer Justin Pierce. Chemistry will have to be built up over time with so many new faces, so coming out of the gates rough shouldn’t be an unexpected outcome.
To make matters worse, the Heels will be without senior guard/wing Brandon Robinson, who went down in the opening minutes of the WSSU game on Friday, and junior center Sterling Manley, who’s still dealing with left knee soreness that sidelined him for half of his sophomore season.
In Notre Dame, UNC is getting a significant test to start the season.
While the Heels boast a roster full of new faces that are still building rapport with one another, the Irish return several upperclassmen who have experience and synergy on their side.
Here’s what UNC will need to focus on to end the day with their first win of the season.