UConn women’s basketball will begin a two-game series with the North Carolina Tar Heels next season, according to UNC head coach Courtney Banhart on the Tar Heel Show. The two teams will play at Mohegan Sun next season before the Huskies make a return trip to North Carolina in 2024-25. The venue of the second game is still up in the air, though.
“[UConn] called us to play them and they said, ‘We’d love to do a neutral game,’ and I said, ‘In. We’ll sign it today. We can’t wait. Where is the game?’” And they said it’s at Mohegan Sun. I said, ‘Woah, woah, woah — I don’t know if guys know this but I’m from up there (Manchester, New Hampshire). Is that 15 minutes or is that 20 minutes from campus? How far is that?’ They said it’s close but it’s not on their campus,” Banghart explained. “I said, ‘That is a home-and-home.’ So we’re happy to play it. Then we’ll do it a ‘neutral-site game.’ We’ll do it in Greensboro. Or we can play a home-and-home.”
“We’ll be doing a ‘neutral-site’ at Mohegan Sun next year and the following year, they’ll be coming to Greensboro — I hope,” she added. “They’ll be coming somewhere. We’re gonna promote Greensboro as our ‘neutral-site’ game to play them in a home-and-home environment.”
While Mohegan Sun technically is a neutral-site venue, it’s located just 45 minutes from Storrs and is still in the heart of UConn territory, making it a de-facto home game for the Huskies. If the second game does end up in Greensboro, that’s just a 55 minute drive from Chapel Hill, which would give the Tar Heels their own de-facto home game.
Under Banghart, UNC has been a program on the rise. Last season, the Tar Heels made a run to the Sweet Sixteen, only to fall to eventual national champion South Carolina. On the recruiting trail, North Carolina beat out UConn for Ciera Toomey, the No. 3 player in the class of 2023, and has also added two other top 10 recruits as well as five more top 30 recruits since Banghart took over.
All-time, UConn holds a 7-5 mark over the Tar Heels. The two teams played every year between 2004-2012 but have not met since. The Huskies are on a five-game winning streak in the series, though that came after three straight victories by UNC. The Tar Heels hold the ultimate trump card, having defeated UConn in the 1994 Elite Eight, 81-69.
Along with North Carolina, the Huskies’ 2023-24 non-conference schedule will feature Notre Dame and Maryland at home, and NC State, South Carolina and Texas on the road.