The ACC on Tuesday released a list of each school’s men’s basketball conference opponents for the next two seasons. You can find the breakdown right here.
For UNC, the next two seasons of ACC opponents look like this:
Home and away opponents: Duke, N.C. State, Georgia Tech, Louisville
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Home opponents only: Florida State, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Syracuse, Notre Dame
Road opponents only: Miami, Clemson, Wake Forest, Pittsburgh, Boston College
Home and away opponents: Duke, N.C. State, Boston College, Syracuse
Home opponents only: Miami, Georgia Tech, Clemson, Wake Forest, Pittsburgh
Road opponents only: Florida State, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Louisville, Notre Dame
Two seasons from now is an eternity in college basketball. So let’s focus on next season.
First impressions: This is a favorable scheduling set up for the Tar Heels, who will always have it more difficult than some in the ACC because they’re guaranteed to play Duke twice per season, every season. In addition to the annual home-and-home against the Blue Devils (and N.C. State), UNC will also play Georgia Tech and Louisville twice.
You had to guess that the ACC would match Louisville, in its first season in the conference, in a home-and-home with either UNC or Duke, and Duke is already playing Syracuse twice this season. It’s no surprise, then, that the Tar Heels will play the Cardinals twice.
Four games against Duke and Louisville will be a challenge, undoubtedly, but the rest of the ACC schedule is kind to UNC. The Tar Heels host both Virginia and Syracuse, the two teams that finished atop the league standings last year. Meanwhile, only one of the Tar Heels’ road-only conference opponents – Pittsburgh – reached the NCAA tournament last season.
Teams would likely prefer to play their most difficult opponents at home, and their less challenging opponents on the road. On paper, at least, that’s how UNC’s ACC schedule will look next season. The combined conference record last season of the Tar Heels’ home-only ACC opponents was 47-43, while UNC’s road-only ACC opponents finished 38-52.
N.C. State’s road-only league schedule is the only one with an opponents’ winning percentage that’s worse than UNC’s. One of the Wolfpack’s road-only games, though, is against Louisville. So UNC might just have the least difficult road-only schedule in the conference, though Miami will be improved and it’s always difficult to win at Clemson.
Things to know: Some history will be made next season when Syracuse visits UNC. The Tar Heels have never played against the Orange in Chapel Hill. UNC and Syracuse have played in North Carolina just once before – a UNC victory in Charlotte on Jan. 8, 1983.
UNC and Louisville, meanwhile, will be playing in Louisville for the first time since Dec. 23, 1999. The Cardinals will be playing in Chapel Hill for the second time, and for the first time since Dec. 17, 1998.