Day & Time: Monday,, February 28, 7:00 pm ET
Location: Dean E. Smith Center, Chapel Hill, N.C.
TV/Streaming: ESPN, WatchESPN
North Carolina Blog: Tar Heel Blog
Rivalry: 14-6, North Carolina
Current Streak: 1, Syracuse
First Meeting: Perhaps somewhat fittingly, these two legendary programs met for the first time during the 1957 NCAA tournament in what would now be the Elite Eight. Syracuse came up short, losing 67-58 to UNC. The Tar Heels would eventually win the NCAA tournament that year, defeating Kansas by a point.
Last Meeting: Buddy Boeheim almost single-handedly saved Syracuse’s season and tournament hopes with an excellent shooting day at the Carrier Dome. He made six threes for 26 points and overcame Syracuse’s bigs to give the Orange a 72-70 win.
Head Coaches: Syracuse - Jim Boeheim (46th year, 1,098-422) | North Carolina - Hubert Davis (first season, 21-8)
Coach Bio: Davis played his college basketball at North Carolina. He holds the record for highest career three-point percentage in school history. Davis was drafted by the New York Knicks with the 20th pick in the first round of the 1992 NBA Draft. He played for 12 years in the NBA with six teams, averaging 8.2 points per game in his pro career. Davis spent the first part of his post-NBA career with ESPN as a college basketball analyst for four seasons.
Davis started his coaching career back at UNC as an assistant to Roy Williams in 2012. He would be later selected as the first black coach in program history in 2021 when Williams retired.
Last Year: UNC had a remarkable average season last year, still good enough for sixth in the ACC. The Tar Heels only had two ranked wins over No. 11 FSU in the regular season and No. 22 Virginia Tech in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament. The Seminoles defeated UNC in the semifinals but the Tar Heels did enough to get an eight seed in the NCAA Tournament. UNC would be promptly dominated by Wisconsin to end the Tar Heels season in the first round.
Last Game: Armando Bacot dominated NC State with 28 points on 11-13 shooting and 18 rebounds to dismantle the Wolfpack as UNC won 84-74.
“Fear Me, I’ve Killed Hundreds of Timelords”: Speaking of Bacot, he’ll have fond memories of playing Syracuse after totaling 33 points and 27 rebounds in the two meetings between the Orange and Tar Heels last season.
If Syracuse Wins: At least Syracuse will finish over .500 to end the regular season.
If Syracuse Loses: We advise to have multiple brown paper bags nearby to scream into.
Fun Fact: At the very least, Syracuse is taking care of the ball. The Orange are averaging just six turnovers over their last three games.