Vols to play at UNC in first ACC/SEC Challenge

Published 12:40 pm Wednesday, June 28, 2023

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Matchups for the inaugural men’s basketball ACC/SEC Challenge were revealed Wednesday, with Tennessee selected to play at North Carolina on Nov. 29.

The new ACC/SEC Challenge replaces the now defunct SEC/Big 12 Challenge, which was contested from 2014-23.

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Tennessee has won just twice in 12 all-time games against North Carolina. The Vols triumphed in the most recent meeting, riding an 18-point performance from then-freshman point guard Zakai Zeigler to a 17-point win over the 18th-ranked Tar Heels at the 2021 Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off in Connecticut.

In its most recent trip to Chapel Hill, UT led for nearly 31 minutes before a late North Carolina surge lifted seventh-ranked UNC to a 73-71 victory on Dec. 11, 2016. Tennessee’s only other visits to Chapel Hill came in 1947 and 1911.

The Vols now will play at least two ACC foes next season. It was previously announced that Tennessee will face NC State in San Antonio, Texas, on Dec. 16. It is also possible that UT could match up against Syracuse at the Maui Invitational the week of Thanksgiving.

Tennessee is 114-100 all-time against current members of the ACC. Vols head coach Rick Barnes — a native of Hickory, North Carolina — owns a 75-75 head coaching record against ACC opposition, including a 7-12 mark vs. UNC.

A pair of current Vols also hail from North Carolina. Junior forward Jonas Aidoo grew up in Durham, and freshman guard Freddie Dilione V is from Fayetteville.