CHAPEL HILL — On Monday morning, the North Carolina men’s basketball team announced it will play a home-and-home series with the University of Kansas during the 2024-25 and 2025-26 seasons. The Tar Heels will play on the road in 2024-25 before hosting the Jayhawks the following season.
UNC has only played at Allen Fieldhouse — the historic home of Kansas’ men’s basketball team — one other time, way back in 1960. It also has never hosted the Jayhawks at Dean E. Smith Center in Chapel Hill.
The Tar Heels and Jayhawks have played 12 times in their storied history, including seven times in the NCAA Tournament. While the two teams have each won six games against each other during that span, Kansas has won the past six meetings, including a 72-69 win over the Tar Heels in the 2022 NCAA Tournament final.
"These two games should be exciting for players and coaches on both teams and a win for fans of college basketball," UNC head coach Hubert Davis said in a statement. "It's an opportunity for two great programs to play in each other's home arenas, which are among the best and most historic in our game."
Former Tar Heels’ head coach Roy Williams — who led UNC to three national titles from 2003-2021 — also coached the Jayhawks from 1988-2003. Williams is the only coach in NCAA history to win at least 400 games with two programs (418 with Kansas and 485 with UNC).
Dean Smith played collegiately at Kansas before graduating in 1953. He eventually took the head coaching job at UNC and helped the Tar Heels win two national championships in 1983 and 1992.
Leaky Black earns contract with Hornets
Former UNC men’s basketball player Leaky Black has earned himself a contract at the NBA level. Black — who started 130 games over five seasons with the Tar Heels from 2018-2023 — signed a two-way deal with the Charlotte Hornets last week.
Black wasn’t selected in the 2023 NBA Draft but earned an invite to play with Charlotte during the Summer League. He averaged just 2.7 points and 5.7 rebounds in 15.7 minutes per game with the Hornets, but his tenacious defense made him an asset the team is willing to gamble on.
In his five seasons at UNC, Black was an All-ACC defensive team member twice. His 6-foot-8 frame, long arms and lateral quickness made him a nightmare for offensive players. While his lack of offensive game will keep him off the floor for long stretches at the next level, Black could become a solid situational defensive player regardless of whether or not he finds his shooting touch.
As a two-way player, Black will spend most of his time with Charlotte’s G-League affiliate — the Greensboro Swarm. He is able to spend up to 45 days during the season with the Hornets, and he will be paid a corresponding daily amount depending on the number of days he plays in each league.
Black was one of two players Charlotte used two-way contracts on. The other was Amari Bailey, whom the team took with the No. 41 pick in this year’s NBA Draft.
Maye signs NIL deal with The Rock’s energy drink company
Last week, North Carolina football quarterback Drake Maye was announced as one of seven NCAA athletes to sign a Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) deal with ZOA Energy — a drink company founded by actor and former professional wrestler Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
According to ZOA’s Amazon page, the drinks include 160-210 mg of natural caffeine from green tea and green coffee, 100% of your daily Vitamin C and a mix of six different B-Vitamins. ZOA’s energy drinks are currently offered in eight different flavors, and the company also makes pre-workout drinks.
The other athletes included in the company’s first foray into the NIL game are LSU women’s basketball player Angel Reese, Florida A&M softball player Amaya Gainer, Georgia football tight end Brock Bowers, Ohio State football receiver Marvin Harrison Jr., Miami football defensive back Kamren Kitchens and Northwestern State men’s basketball player Hansel Enmanuel.
According to On3’s NIL Top 100 rankings, Maye is seventh with $1.5 million in “total evaluation” — an algorithm that establishes the market based on two categories, brand value index and roster value index.
Maye is widely considered one of the top prospects in college football heading into next year’s NFL Draft. Many publications list him as the No. 2 quarterback in the class behind USC quarterback Caleb Williams, and he could very well be a top-five pick come next April.
Last season, his first starting for UNC, Maye completed 66.2% of his passes for 4,321 yards and 38 touchdowns against seven interceptions. He also ran for 698 yards and seven rushing touchdowns.