Quick thoughts on the 2013-14 hoops schedule
How long will junior guard P.J. Hairston be suspended? The answer could go a long way toward determining how North Carolina will fare against a daunting non-conference schedule.
When ESPN put out its Top 25 for 2013-14, Kentucky was first, Louisville was second and Michigan State was third.
According to UNC’s schedule, which was released today, the fifth game would be against Louisville, the seventh game is at Michigan State and the ninth game is home against Kentucky.
Hairston, the team’s leading scorer last season, was suspended indefinitely after his third run-in with the police this offseason. UNC athletic director Bubba Cunningham said last week that Hairston would be back this season, but not for all the games.
Some more quick info on the schedule:
-- The Tar Heels open the season on Nov. 8 against Oakland (time TBA) and open ACC play at Wake Forest on Jan. 5 (8 p.m., ESPNU). UNC’s first conference home game is against reigning ACC champion Miami on Jan. 8 (9 p.m., ESPN2).
-- The UNC-Duke series will take place Feb. 12 at the Smith Center and March 8 at Cameron Indoor Stadium, which will be the final game of the regular season for both teams. UNC hosts N.C. State on Feb. 1 and visits the RBC Center on Feb. 26.
Besides permanent rivals Duke and N.C. State, UNC will play rotating opponents Wake Forest and Notre Dame twice this season.
-- North Carolina will welcome two of the three new ACC members when the Tar Heels host Pittsburgh on Feb. 15 and Notre Dame on March 3. The game against the Fighting Irish will also serve as senior night for Leslie McDonald. UNC only plays at Syracuse this season, a game that will take place on Jan. 11.
-- The Tar Heels will play their final league game against Maryland on Feb. 4 at the Smith Center. UNC will not travel to College Park.
-- Clemson gets its chance for that elusive win in Chapel Hill on Jan. 26.
-- UNC has three Saturday/Monday turnarounds, thanks to the ACC’s new contract with ESPN, and all involve travel. On the other hand, there are no Thursday/Saturday turnarounds.
DAY DATE OPPONENT/EVENT SITE TIME TV
Fri. Nov. 1 UNC Pembroke (exhibition)
Fri. Nov. 8 Oakland
Fri. Nov. 15 Holy Cross
Sun. Nov. 17 Belmont
Sat. Nov. 23 vs. Richmond (Mohegan Sun) Uncasville, Conn.
Sun. Nov. 24 vs. Fairfield or Louisville (Mohegan Sun) Uncasville, Conn.
Sun. Dec. 1 at UAB
Wed. Dec. 4 at Michigan State
Sat. Dec. 7 UNC Greensboro
Sat. Dec. 14 Kentucky
Wed. Dec. 18 Texas
Sat. Dec. 21 Davidson
Fri. Dec. 27 Northern Kentucky
Tue. Dec. 31 UNC Wilmington
Sun. Jan. 5 at Wake Forest
Wed. Jan. 8 Miami
Sat. Jan. 11 at Syracuse
Sat. Jan. 18 Boston College
Mon. Jan. 20 at Virginia
Sun. Jan. 26 Clemson
Wed. Jan. 29 at Georgia Tech
Sat. Feb. 1 NC State
Tue. Feb. 4 Maryland
Sat. Feb. 8 at Notre Dame
Wed. Feb. 12 Duke Chapel Hill
Sat. Feb. 15 Pittsburgh
Mon. Feb. 17 at Florida State
Sat. Feb. 22 Wake Forest
Wed. Feb. 26 at NC State
Sat. March 1 at Virginia Tech
Mon. March 3 Notre Dame
Sat. March 8 at Duke