Although this is the third season of a 20-game conference schedule, last year no team made it to 20 due to COVID cancelations. Miami came the closest to playing a full league schedule, competing in 19 ACC games. On the low end, Boston College, Louisville, and Virginia Tech each only played 13 ACC games; meaning they missed seven conferences matchups.
Carolina had previously released their preseason contests and non-conference slate.
Late Night will take place on Friday, October 15 at 7:30 in the Dean E. Smith Center. Three weeks later, the Tar Heels will play their lone exhibition game when they host Elizabeth City State on Friday, November 5.
The rest of the non-conference schedule is as follows:
UNC Non-Conference Schedule | 2021-22
- Loyola (MD) | Home | November 9 | Tuesday
- Brown | Home | November 12 | Friday
- College of Charleston | Away | November 16 | Tuesday
- Purdue | Hall of Fame Tipoff | Neutral | November 20 | Saturday
- Villanova / Tennessee | Hall of Fame Tipoff | Neutral | November 21 | Sunday
- UNC Asheville | Home | November 23 | Tuesday
- Michigan | ACC/Big Ten Challenge | Home | December 1 | Wednesday
- Elon | Home | December 11 | Saturday
- Furman | Home | December 14 | Tuesday
- UCLA | CBS Sports Classic | December 18 | Saturday
- Appalachian State | Home | December 21 | Saturday
Now, the moment you’ve been (ever so patiently) reading to get to: Carolina’s 2021-22 conference schedule. Wait no longer. Here you go:
We already knew the breakdown of home only, away only, and home and away opponents. As a reminder, though, here is that breakdown:
- Florida State
- Notre Dame
- Wake Forest
Home and Away
- Boston College
- Georgia Tech
- NC State
- Virginia Tech
Similar to my Quick Hitters following Carolina football and basketball games, here are some quick takeaways from the schedule reveal.
- As was the case in 2019-20, Carolina’s first ACC game will be interspersed in the non-conference portion of the schedule. That season the Tar Heels’ first game of the season was a conference matchup, as part of the ACC Network launch. UNC won’t have to do that again, nor will they play two conference games early like they did that season.
- The first conference game is an away game at Georgia Tech, where Carolina has struggled, particularly early in the schedule as this one will be. The Tar Heels last started ACC play on the road just last year, a 79-76 loss at NC State. In fact, in the past 10 seasons, UNC has begun conference play on the road seven times.
- Not only is the first game on the road, but Carolina will play three of their first four on the road – Georgia Tech, Boston College, and Notre Dame.
- On the back side of the schedule, the Tar Heels end the regular season away from home three of their last five – Virginia Tech, NC State, and Duke.
- Sandwiched in between those strings of road matchups, Carolina does have the opportunity to play five of seven at home.
- Carolina doesn’t have to play at Virginia, Florida State, or Syracuse this year.
- The away only opponents are all manageable games on paper (Clemson, Miami Notre Dame, Wake Forest), with Miami typically the away environment the Tar Heels have struggled moth wise of these four.
- As part of two home games back-to-back in early January, UNC plays at home on two consecutive Saturdays with no games in between. Those matchups fall on January 8 (Virginia) and 15 (Georgia Tech). While the rest in between will be nice, the break will give the Tar Heels the opportunity to remember just how mind-numbingly slow their Virginia game was.
- One of the things we always look out for in conference schedules is the dreaded Saturday-Monday back-to-back. Carolina has three such quick turnarounds in the 2021-22 schedule. The difficult thing is that none of them are home/home or away/away. All three pairs are split – the first is home/away and the second two are both away/home. Thankfully, the last set of Saturday/Monday games includes a road game at NC State, so extremely minimal travel. The other difficulty with the back-to-back quick turns is that the second two sets happen in consecutive weekends near the end of the regular season. Here are those three quick turns.
- Sat, Jan 29 – vs. NC State | Mon, Jan 31 - @ Louisville
- Sat, Feb 19 - @ Virginia Tech | Mon, Feb 21 – vs. Louisville
- Sat, Feb 26 - @ NC State | Mon, Feb 28 – vs. Syracuse
- Senior night will be Monday, February 28 vs. Syracuse
- The final regular season game will be Saturday, March 5 at Cameron Indoor Stadium. This is nothing unusual schedule-wise. Every year Carolina and Duke play each other on the final Saturday of the regular season. Every year is senior night for the home team. The difference this year is that that game will be Coach K’s final regular season game.
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