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Here are the easiest and most difficult stretches in UNC’s 2018-19 basketball schedule

Roy Williams Court is dedicated at UNC

The basketball floor at the Smith Center is dedicated as 'Roy Williams Court' during a ceremony August 24, 2018. The hall-of-fame coach has led the UNC Tar Heels to three national titles in 15 seasons at his alma mater.
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The basketball floor at the Smith Center is dedicated as 'Roy Williams Court' during a ceremony August 24, 2018. The hall-of-fame coach has led the UNC Tar Heels to three national titles in 15 seasons at his alma mater.

North Carolina’s full basketball schedule is finally set.

UNC will host its annual late night with Roy event on Oct. 12. Its first conference game will be on Jan. 5 at Pitt. And it will end the regular season against Duke in Chapel Hill on March 9, before the ACC tournament begins on March 12 in Charlotte.

The Tar Heels had one of the toughest schedules in the country last season. UNC was 14-8 against “Quadrant I” teams.

Here is a deeper dive into UNC’s schedule:

Most difficult stretch

The entire month of February. UNC plays at Louisville on Feb. 2, against N.C. State, Miami and Virginia at home on Feb. 5, 9 and 11, at Wake Forest and at Duke on Feb. 16 and 20, then finally home games against Florida State and Syracuse on Feb. 23 and 26.

Fortunately for UNC, the toughest games during that stretch will be at home. UNC was 12-3 at the Dean Smith Center last season.

Easiest stretch

The easiest stretch on UNC’s schedule will be the three games it plays before the Las Vegas Invitational in November. UNC plays three consecutive home games against Stanford, Tennessee Tech and St. Francis on Nov. 12, 16 and 19th respectively.

Three games to know

1. UNC vs. Kentucky on Dec. 22. Kentucky will likely start the season ranked No. 1 in the country. In recent years, these games have been classics. For instance, the NCAA tournament game in 2017, when then-sophomore forward Luke Maye hit the game-winning jumper to send the Tar Heels to the Final Four.

2. Virginia at UNC on Feb. 11. Last season, UVa. twice got the best of UNC, once in the regular season 61-49, and in the championship game of the ACC tournament, 71-63. The Cavaliers have consistently been one of the top teams in the conference in recent years. They have beat the Tar Heels at least once in each of the last five seasons.

3. Duke at UNC on March 9. This is the final game of the regular season and it will be in Chapel Hill. The two teams split the regular season series at home last year. UNC won the final matchup in the semi-finals of ACC tournament 74-69.

Preseason schedule

Oct. 12: Late night with Roy, 7:30 p.m., ACC Network Extra

Nov. 2: Mt. Olive at UNC, 7:30 p.m., ACC Network Extra

Non-conference schedule

Nov. 6: UNC at Wofford, 7 p.m., TBA

Nov. 9: UNC at Elon, TBA, TBA

Nov. 12: Stanford at UNC, TBA, TBA

Nov. 16: UNC vs. Tennessee Tech, TBA, TBA

Nov. 19: UNC vs. St. Francis (Pa.), TBA, TBA

Nov. 22: UNC vs. Texas (Las Vegas Invitational) 7:30 p.m., FS1

Nov. 23: UNC vs. Michigan State or UCLA (Las Vegas Invitational), 4 p.m. or 6:30 p.m., Fox

Nov. 28: UNC at Michigan (ACC-Big Ten Challenge), 9 p.m., ESPN

Dec. 5: UNCW at UNC, TBA, TBA

Dec. 15: Gonzaga at UNC 7 p.m., TBA

Dec. 22: UNC vs. Kentucky (CBS Sports Classic in Chicago), 5:15 p.m., CBS

Dec. 29: Davidson at UNC, TBA, TBA

Jan. 2: Harvard at UNC, TBA, TBA

Conference schedule

Jan. 5: UNC at Pitt, noon, Raycom

Jan. 8: UNC at N.C. State, 9 p.m., ESPN or ESPN2

Jan. 12: Louisville at UNC, noon, ESPN or ESPN2

Jan. 15: Notre Dame at UNC, 9 p.m., ESPN

Jan. 19: UNC at Miami, noon, ESPN or ESPN2

Jan. 21: Virginia Tech at UNC, 7 p.m., ESPN

Jan. 29: UNC at Georgia Tech, 7 p.m., RSN

Feb. 2: UNC at Louisville, 2 p.m., 4 p.m. or 6 p.m., ESPN or ESPN2

Feb. 5: N.C. State at UNC, 8 p.m., Raycom

Feb. 9: Miami at UNC, noon, Raycom

Feb. 11: Virginia at UNC, 7 p.m., ESPN

Feb. 16: UNC at Wake Forest, noon, Raycom

Feb. 20: UNC at Duke, 9 p.m., ESPN and Raycom

Feb. 23: Florida State at UNC, 3:45 p.m., CBS

Feb. 26: Syracuse at UNC, 7 p.m./9 p.m., ESPN and Raycom

March 2: UNC at Clemson, 4 p.m./6 p.m., ESPN or ESPN2

March 5: UNC at Boston College, 8 p.m., Raycom

March 9: Duke at UNC, 6 p.m., or 8 p.m., ESPN

March 12-16: ACC tournament, at Charlotte.

Alexander, 919-829-4822; @jonmalexander
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