Print and Go Back ESPN.com: North Carolina Tar Heels [Print without images]

Monday, October 8, 2012
How does UNC's nonconference slate rate?

By Robbi Pickeral

For the next four days, ESPN.com will be breaking down the nonconference schedules of each and every team in a dozen of the nation's top leagues. Monday morning, we began with the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Here's the breakdown of all 12 ACC league teams.

And here's the breakdown of UNC:
NORTH CAROLINA

Toughest: Maui Invitational (Nov. 19-21), at Indiana (Nov. 27), at Texas (Dec. 19), UNLV (Dec. 29)
Next-toughest: at Long Beach State (Nov. 16)
The rest: Gardner-Webb (Nov. 9), Florida Atlantic (Nov. 11), UAB (Dec. 1), ETSU (Dec. 8), East Carolina (Dec. 15), McNeese State (Dec. 22)
Toughness scale (1-10): 8 -- Unlike past seasons, there is no Kentucky on this schedule. But games at NCAA title favorite Indiana and against UNLV (which beat the top-ranked Tar Heels last season) could pose some early angst for a team that lost four starters to the NBA draft. Roy Williams’ squad could also face young-but-talented Texas twice in the span of a month, if they meet in the title game of the Maui Invitational. UNC opens there against rebuilding Mississippi State, then faces a stern test from either Butler or Marquette.

How does this year's schedule rank on your toughness scale? Thoughts?

Follow Robbi Pickeral on Twitter at @bylinerp.