North Carolina will step into a hostile atmosphere for the first time this season when it plays at Illinois tonight in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge series. It will be the first road game of the season for UNC, which suffered both of its losses in a neutral setting at the Puerto Rico Tip-Off, and it's of at least slight concern for Coach Roy Williams. Game time is set for 9:30 (ESPN).
Tar Heels to face first road test
The Winston-Salem Journal
According to North Carolina coach Roy Williams, every player on the team has a role.
And for sophomore John Henson, Williams wants his role to be like Dennis Rodman's — without the piercings, tattoos and controversy.
Williams wants Henson to be more of a 'menace' in the middle
The Durham Herald-Sun
For the past month, North Carolina coach Roy Williams has been pressing every button he can, ordering his players to show more emotion, to play with enthusiasm and to lose themselves within each game. Yet at halftime Sunday, with his Tar Heels clinging to a 28-27 lead over College of Charleston and still making too many silly mistakes, Williams' attempts to crank up the urgency was still not working.
Coach Williams wants more emotion from Tar Heels
The Fayetteville Observer
Coming off what coach Roy Williams characterized as a first real moment of self discovery, North Carolina quickly turns its attention to a pair of challenges that could prove equally revealing.
The Tar Heels' first true road assignment of the season and second game in the space of three nights takes them to Illinois as part of the ACC / Big Ten Challenge.
Tough stretch awaits to test Tar Heels' recent growth
The Burlington Times-News
So Harrison Barnes isn't the answer for North Carolina, or isn't yet, anyway. It was as unfair to ask him to be as it was to assume he would be.
Fair or not, Barnes is needed
The Charlotte Observer
After Illinois lost the national championship to North Carolina in 2005, the Illini exacted a measure of revenge the following season by beating the Tar Heels in Chapel Hill.
Several players on this season's team watched the nip-and-tuck title game on television with friends and family. It was during that game that sophomore Brandon Paul made up his mind that he wanted to attend Illinois.
But this season's Illinois team wants some closure of its own.
Illini eager to take on North Carolina
The Chicago Tribune
It's that time of the season when a basketball game in November will reflect on the resume in March. So let the madness begin.
When No. 20 Illinois hosts unranked North Carolina in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge on Tuesday night at Assembly Hall, the Illini get a chance for some more revenge against the program that knocked off Illinois in the 2005 national championship game. More importantly, it's a chance for the Big Ten and Illinois to start building some street cred while building a case for March.
Challenges of Illini's past, present, future
The Peoria Journal-Star
North Carolina is bowl eligible for the third straight season, but where the Tar Heels end up in the postseason is not certain. An official announcement will not come until after Saturday's ACC championship game between Virginia Tech and Florida State, but most projections have UNC facing Tennessee in the Music City Bowl in Nashville, Tenn., on Dec. 30.
Bowl bound: UNC plays waiting game for postseason destination
The Durham Herald-Sun