Tar Heels tabbed preseason No. 11 in USA Today Sports poll

Peter Koutroumpis, Triangle Sports Network

Peter Koutroumpis, Triangle Sports Network

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The North Carolina Tar Heels women’s basketball team begins the upcoming season in the No. 11 spot in the USA Today Sports Coaches’ Top 25 poll that was released on Tuesday.

The Tar Heels, who finished last season with a 29-7 overall record, begin their 2013-14 schedule on Wednesday with a preseason matchup against the Division II Carson-Newman Lady Eagles at home in Carmichael Arena.

The game will be the first of two exhibition contests for the Tar Heels, as they will host the Wingate Bulldogs Tues. Nov. 5 before opening the season against the Air Force Falcons on Fri. Nov. 8.

The matchup between the Heels and Eagles is a traditional one that UNC head coach Sylvia Hatchell schedules against her alma mater where she earned her degree in physical education and competed as an athlete in basketball and volleyball.

However, Hatchell will not be in attendance at the game due to her recent diagnosis of leukemia.

Longtime Associate head coach Andrew Calder, who has coached alongside Hatchell for 27 years, will direct the team in her temporary absence.

Admission to preseason games is free for all spectators.

USA TODAY SPORTS TOP 25 COACHES’ POLL

Rank, School (2012-2013 record)

  1. Connecticut (35-4)
  2. Duke (33-3)
  3. Stanford (33-3)
  4. Tennessee (27-8)
  5. Louisville (29-9)
  6. Maryland (26-8)
  7. Notre Dame (35-2)
  8. Kentucky (30-6)
  9. California (32-4)
  10. Baylor (34-2)
  11. North Carolina (29-7)
  12. Nebraska (25-9)
  13. Texas A&M (25-10)
  14. Oklahoma (24-11)
  15. Penn State (26-6)
  16. Dayton (28-3)
  17. LSU (22-12)
  18. Michigan State (25-9)
  19. Colorado (25-7)
  20. Iowa State (24-9)
  21. South Carolina (25-8)
  22. Georgia (28-7)
  23. Purdue (25-9)
  24. Oklahoma State (22-11)
  25. UCLA (26-8)

Others receiving votes: Vanderbilt (21-12) 99; Gonzaga (27-6) 68; DePaul (21-12) 54; West Virginia (17-14) 53; South Florida (22-11) 37; Georgia Tech (14-16) 34; Kansas (20-14) 32; Florida State (23-10) 18; Wisconsin-Green Bay (29-3) 18; Marist (26-7) 17; Rutgers (16-14) 11; Creighton (25-8) 10; Saint Mary’s (23-11) 8; Syracuse (24-8) 8; Middle Tennessee (25-8) 6; Toledo (29-4) 6; Iowa (21-13) 4; Quinnipiac (30-3) 4; San Diego (22-10) 4; Delaware (32-4) 2; Minnesota (18-14) 2; Brigham Young (23-11) 1; Florida (22-15) 1; Pacific (27-8) 1; Southern Methodist (21-10) 1; St. John‘s (18-13) 1