Carolina and Tennessee Set to Clash in Top-20 Matchup in ACC-SEC Challenge

The Tar Heels and Volunteers gear up for an exciting showdown in the Smith Center

In a highly anticipated top-20 matchup, the University of North Carolina Tar Heels will face off against the University of Tennessee Volunteers in the first year of the ACC-SEC Challenge. The game, scheduled for Wednesday, November 29 at 7:15 p.m., will take place in the iconic Smith Center and will be broadcast live on ESPN. With both teams ranked in the AP poll and boasting impressive records, this clash promises to be a thrilling contest that basketball fans won’t want to miss.

Strong Start for the Tar Heels

Carolina has had a solid start to the season, currently holding a 5-1 record. The Tar Heels are ranked No. 17 in the AP poll and No. 13 in KenPom rankings. They began the season with three consecutive home victories before heading to the Bahamas for the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament. In the tournament, they secured wins against Northern Iowa and Arkansas, but suffered a narrow 83-81 overtime loss to Villanova, who went on to win the tournament and is now ranked 18th in the AP poll.

Tennessee’s Impressive Performances

The Volunteers have also had a strong start to their season, currently boasting a 4-2 record. They are ranked No. 10 in the AP poll and No. 9 in KenPom rankings. Tennessee’s victories include a 10-point win at Wisconsin and a convincing 17-point win over Syracuse. Their only losses have come against tough opponents Purdue and Kansas in Honolulu.

The Smith Center’s Historic Dominance

The Smith Center has been a fortress for the Tar Heels throughout their history. Carolina holds an impressive 226-18 all-time record against non-ACC teams in their home arena. With such a strong home court advantage, UNC fans are encouraged to wear white and show their support for the team during Wednesday’s game.

The Inaugural ACC-SEC Challenge

This season marks the first year of the ACC-SEC Challenge, a series of 15 games played between ACC and SEC teams on November 28-29 at campus sites. The challenge replaces the ACC-Big Ten Challenge, in which the Tar Heels had a respectable record of 11-13 from 1999-2023. UNC has faced 20 ranked teams in the 24-year history of the ACC-Big Ten Challenge, including several top-10 opponents.

Standout Performances from Tar Heels

Senior guard (Player Name) was named co-ACC Player of the Week for his exceptional performances in the Bahamas. He averaged 22.0 points per game and led the Tar Heels in scoring with 23 points against Villanova and a career-high tying 30 points in the win over Arkansas. (Player Name) shared the award, his first ACC Player-of-the-Week honor, with Florida State’s Jamir Watkins. This marks the second time this season that a Tar Heel has won the award, with (Player Name) winning it for his outstanding play in UNC’s first two games.

Free Throw Prowess

One area where the Tar Heels have excelled this season is free throw shooting. Against Arkansas, (Player Name) went a perfect 10 for 10 from the free throw line, showcasing his skill and composure under pressure. This impressive performance contributed to his status as UNC’s all-time leader in free throw percentage, currently standing at 85.4%. Additionally, (Player Name) has climbed from 19th to a tie for 14th in ACC history in terms of free throw accuracy.

Looking Ahead

Following the matchup against Tennessee, Carolina will return to the Smith Center on Saturday at 2 p.m. for their Atlantic Coast Conference opener against Florida State. This game will mark the beginning of what is sure to be an exciting conference season for the Tar Heels.


The clash between the University of North Carolina Tar Heels and the University of Tennessee Volunteers in the ACC-SEC Challenge is set to be a thrilling contest. With both teams ranked in the top-20 and boasting impressive records, fans can expect a high-intensity game filled with exceptional performances. As the Tar Heels return home to the Smith Center, they will look to continue their dominance against non-ACC teams and secure a victory against a formidable opponent. The outcome of this matchup could set the tone for the rest of the season and will undoubtedly be an exciting spectacle for basketball enthusiasts.






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