The historic arena that fostered the basketball careers of UNC stars Michael Jordan and James Worthy will play host to the newest generation of Tar Heels in 2019.
For a single game this upcoming season — North Carolina’s Dec. 15 non-conference showdown against Wofford — the program will return to Carmichael Arena to play a regular-season game. It will be the first regular season men’s college basketball game played at the arena since 1986. UNC beat William & Mary at Carmichael Arena in the first round of the 2010 NIT.
The team since 1986 has played its regular season home games at the Dean E. Smith Center, which can house nearly 22,000 patrons. Carmichael’s capacity is well shy of that; the old home of UNC basketball is 6,822 — less than one-third of the Dean E. Smith Center after recent renovations.
The reason for the venue shift for a single game is not a nod to nostalgia, but rather a scheduling conflict. North Carolina had already booked the Dean E. Smith Center for Dec. 15 to hold its December commencement ceremonies, which left the basketball team in search of a new venue to play against the Terriers.
Wofford is 1-2 against North Carolina in its last three meetings, notably upsetting the Tar Heels in Chapel Hill, North Carolina 79-75 in 2017.