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No. 10 Tennessee at No. 17 North Carolina: How To Watch, Betting Odds, Complete Preview

Tennessee Highlights
Tennessee PG Zakai Zeigler against North Carolina in 2021. Photo via Tennessee Athletics.

Tennessee basketball heads to North Carolina to face the Tar Heels as part of the inaugural ACC-SEC Challenge on Wednesday night.

The Vols are coming off a 1-2 week at the Maui Invitational which included losses to No. 1 Purdue and No. 5 Kansas. North Carolina is coming a 2-1 trip at the Battle 4 Atlantis which included a win over Arkansas and a loss against Villanova.

Here’s everything to know about the top 20 matchup in Chapel Hill.

More From RTI: Rick Barnes’ Connection To Hubert Davis And North Carolina

How to Watch – No. 10 Tennessee (4-2) at No. 17 North Carolina (5-1)

  • Start Time: 7:15 p.m. ET/6:15 p.m. CT
  • Location: Dean E. Smith Center
  • TV: ESPN. PxP: Karl Ravech. CC: Jimmy Dykes. Sideline: Myron Medcalf
  • Online Streaming: Watch ESPN
  • Radio (Knoxville): The Vol Network/The Vol Network App

Betting Lines

Draft Kings

Spread: North Carolina -1.5 Tennessee

Totals: Over/under 142.5


Spread: North Carolina -3

Total: Over/under 145

Probable Starters

Tennessee (via UT Game Notes)

North Carolina (via North Carolina Game Notes)

What Rick Barnes said about North Carolina

On if he still gets fired up to play North Carolina after growing up there, skirmishes with Dean Smith

“Maybe years ago but not now. First of all, I’ve got great respect for the University of North Carolina and, I mean, it’s a storied tradition and everyone that is from North Carolina knows about it, know what it’s about. And I have great respect for Hubert Davis. He was, when I became a head coach, he was the very first player I recruited. He grew up, literally, his high school was literally a quarter of a mile from George Mason. He would come over and shoot at George Mason. I can remember sitting on the front bricks out in front of the gym talking to him. And at the time he wasn’t being highly recruited and obviously he grew up wanting to go to North Carolina. I did in high school play against his uncle Walter Davis. So he grew up a huge Carolina (fan) and he basically just said, hey, gimme a chance. And, he went there and made the most of it. And just a great human being and a person I have great respect for. His whole staff. I mean, I’ve watched all those guys that seem like grow up through the years, but the fact is that I’ve always thought these are the two leagues that should be playing in a challenge, being as close as we are, border up against each other. And I think it’s gonna be good for both leagues.”

Team Statistics (via Sports Reference)

North Carolina:

Stat Leaders


Points: Dalton Knecht — 17.5 PPG, 45 FG%, 37.9 3PT%

Rebounds: Jonas Aidoo — 7.5 RPG, 5.5 DRPG, 2 ORPG

Assists: Zakai Zeigler — 3.0 APG, 2.5 TOPG, 19.8 MPG

North Carolina:

Points: R.J. Davis — 18.2 PPG, 42.2 FG%, 31.6 3PT%

Rebounds: Armando Bacot — 11.7 RPG, 7.7 DRPG, 4.0 ORPG

Assists: Elliot Cadeau — 3.2 APG, 1.5 TOPG, 21.3 MPG

Last Five Games


  • 69-60 loss against Kansas (Maui Invitational)
  • 71-67 loss against Purdue (Maui Invitational)
  • 76-53 win over Syracuse (Maui Invitational)
  • 82-61 win versus Wofford
  • 80-70 win at Wisconsin

North Carolina: 

  • 87-72 win over Arkansas (Battle 4 Atlantis)
  • 83-81 (OT) loss against Villanova (Battle 4 Atlantis)
  • 91-69 win over Northern Iowa (Battle 4 Atlantis)
  • 77-52 win versus UC Riverside
  • 90-68 win versus Lehigh


Hey Tennessee, did you have fun facing All-American big men Zach Edey and Hunter Dickinson last week? Well, here’s the best center in the ACC.

It’s quite the challenge for Durham native Jonas Aidoo who grew up a North Carolina fan but didn’t get recruited by Duke or the Tar Heels. And the Vols certainly need him to rise to the occasion. Between facing Bacot and Tennessee’s Tobe Awaka still dealing with an ankle injury he suffered against Syracuse, the Vols need minutes and production from Aidoo.

This matchup feels like another near toss up here early in the season. Whether Dalton Knecht can bounce back from a disappointing final two games in the Maui Invitational and whether Tennessee can survive on the boards are the two major question I have for the Vols entering this one.

The Vols have been good on the road this season and are due to hit some shots. Tennessee plays well offensively and pulls out the win.

Tennessee 75, North Carolina 73

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