The Tar Heels have been in the elite class of college basketball programs practically since the program’s inception in 1911. Since 1953 North Carolina has been one of the faces of the Atlantic Coast Conference’s basketball program, joining archrival Duke. In 1957 the Tar Heels won their first NCAA championship, going 32-0. Legendary coach Dean Smith took over the program for the 1961-62 season, starting a run of 36 seasons, 11 Final Four appearances and two National Championships. Since Smith’s departure, the Tar Heels haven’t lost a step. Current head coach Roy Williams has already won two more championships since taking the head-coaching gig in 2003. A constant threat to win another championship, Carolina students have more than enough occasions to go out to Franklin Street and celebrate after games. Score with TicketCity - the place to go for North Carolina Tar Heels basketball tickets.
2016 Tar Heels Season Preview
By any programs standards, the North Carolina Tar Heels basketball team had a fantastic season a year ago, reaching the ACC Tournament Final, and the Sweet 16. But in Chapel Hill the expectations are to beat Duke, and win a title, neither of which the Tar Heels were able to do last season. North Carolina enters the 2015-16 season with possibly their most talented team in half a decade, and have the expectations of bringing an ACC and possibly a National Championship back to Chapel Hill for the first time since 2009. Much of the focal point of the 2015-16 Tar Heels will be on senior shooting guard Marcus Paige. Paige and power forward Brice Johnson could be the most dynamic 1-2 punch in the ACC, and have the talent to match anyone in the country. The Tar Heels 2015-16 schedule will be challenging, with games against Texas, UCLA, Maryland, and Kansas State in the non-conference, to go along with a ruthless ACC schedule. Look for North Carolina to be one of the more dangerous teams in 2015-16 and challenge for a number 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Check out our UNC Tar Heels Season Preview History page for previews of previous Tar Heels seasons.
UNC Tar Heels Basketball at Dean Smith Center Address: 300 Skipper Bowles Dr, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, 27514
The Tar Heels play their home games at the Dean Smith Center, located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. With a capacity of greater than 21 thousand screaming Tar Heel fans, there are few venues as exciting as the Dean Dome. The Smith Center has undergone renovations recently to keep it one of the best places to see a basketball game in all of the NCAA. The UNC Tar Heels home bench is on the Dean Smith Center sideline in front of sections 109-110. Dean Smith Center parking information is covered in our Tar Heels event guide.
This is arguably the best rivalry in all of college sports. Separated by only about 10 miles, these two tobacco road powerhouses have been able to dominate every basketball team on the east coast, except each other. Both teams are in the top five in total wins and combine for over 9 national championships. The game day atmosphere is rowdy, passionate, and unmatched by any other rivalry in basketball. This is one of the only rivalries in any sports that consistently has regional, conference, and national title implications on the line.
North Carolina vs. North Carolina State
This is one of the most intensely contested rivalries in college sports and never receives the media attention it truly deserves. If this rivalry happened in any other state it would be the talk of the entire region. These two schools are separated by only about 25 miles and have won a combined 7 national championships. The Wolfpack and Tar Heels have etched out dozens of conference championships and tournament titles, and this is year in and year out one of the best games in the ACC.
North Carolina vs. Wake Forest
Wake Forest and North Carolina have met on the hardwood over 210 times and have produced some of the most memorable games in college basketball history. Although North Carolina has dominated the win column, a majority of the games are won by a small margin and tensions are always high when these two teams meet. This game often has ACC title implications and is always a source of pride for basketball fans in North Carolina.
North Carolina Tar Heels in the Final Four, NCAA Tournament, and ACC Tournament
With over 2000 wins and five national championships to their name, the North Carolina Tar Heels have become one of the biggest names in college basketball. UNC has reached the Final Four almost 20 times since their first in 1946 and have won the regular-season conference championship almost 40 times. There are always big things in the horizon for the Tar Heels, and you can bet that more national championships are on the way.
North Carolina Tar Heels Event Guide
What time do the gates open prior to a Tar Heels game?
Doors at Dean Smith Center typically open 90 minutes before tipoff. Dean Smith Center is one of the most iconic arenas in all of sports and we recommend getting to the game early to take in the atmosphere and admire the many banners hanging from the rafters.
Where are good places to eat before a Tar Heels game?
One of the best places to for a pre-game meal is at Top of the Hill Restaurant & Brewery. Top of the Hill is usually packed with Heels fans, and has a good menu as well. There are several great Indian food places in the area we recommend trying Mint, Cholanad, or Vimala’s Curryblossom Café. If you are a Thai food fan don’t miss trying Mei Asian as it is one of the best in the area. Carolina Brewery and Linda’s Bar and Grill both have good bar food and even better pre-game atmospheres. Other places worth checking out are Bandido’s Mexican Café, Elaine’s On Franklin, and Sutton’s Drug Store.
Where is the best place to park at the Dean Smith Center?
Parking at Dean Smith Center is limited and spread out over a large area. The closest parking spots are reserved for permit and parking pass holders only. The closest general parking lot is the Manning lot located on the east side of Manning Drive at Skipper Bowles Drive. Another great place to park is at the Bowles Lot which is in-between William Blythe Drive and Kenan Drive. Just on the other side of William Blythe is the Craige Deck, which is the last large parking option in the area.
Does my child need a ticket to attend the game?
Children aged 2 and younger do not require a ticket to enter Dean Smith Center but must sit on a guardians lap for the duration of the game. It is recommended that you bring proof of you child’s age to the gate with you to ensure they are allowed to enter the arena.