CHAPEL HILL -- North Carolina will play its 400th game in the Dean E. Smith Center on Sunday when it hosts Belmont at 4 p.m. in a game that's part of the Hall of Fame Tipoff. The Tar Heels also could reach the 8,000,000-fan mark on Sunday with a crowd of 12,977 or more.
Carolina has played 399 games in the Smith Center and will reach the 400-game plateau on Sunday against Belmont. UNC has a record of 340-59 (.852) in the Smith Center.
The Tar Heels also could reach the eight million-fan mark in the Smith Center on Sunday. UNC's all-time attendance in the arena is 7,987,023 since the building opened on Jan. 18, 1986, with a Carolina win over Duke. An attendance of 12,977 or more on Sunday will push Carolina's all-time Smith Center attendance to 8,000,000.
PREVIEWING SUNDAY'S GAME
Carolina (2-0) will return to the court less than 48 hours after Friday's win over Holy Cross when it hosts the Bruins (2-1). The game is part of the Hall of Fame Tipoff tournament. Both teams will travel to Uncasville, Conn., next weekend for the semifinal and championship rounds of the event next Saturday and Sunday.
Sunday's game against Belmont will be televised live nationally by ESPNU. Tom Hart (play-by-play) and Fran Fraschilla (analyst) will have the call. The game also will be carried nationally on XM/Sirius satellite radio channel 91.
The Tar Heels hope to win their third contest in a row to start this season, having beaten Oakland last weekend and Holy Cross on Friday night.
Belmont is coming off a 96-95 home win over Indiana State on Thursday night. Six Bruins scored in double figures, led by J.J. Mann with 23 points, Drew Windler with 17 and Reece Chamberlain with 16 points, seven rebounds and six assists. Belmont won its 21st consecutive home game, scoring 63 second-half points.
A LOOK AHEAD ...
Next weekend, Carolina will head to Uncasville, Conn., to play two more games in the Hall of Fame Tipoff, starting with Richmond on Saturday Nov. 23. The Tar Heels are scheduled to depart for Connecticut on Thursday Nov. 21.
UNC will face either Louisville or Fairfield next Sunday at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville.
Sunday's game is the third of three in a row for the Tar Heels at home to start the season, a stretch followed by four consecutive games away from Chapel Hill starting next weekend and followed by games at UAB (Dec. 1) and Michigan State (Dec. 4).
THE SERIES VS. BELMONT ...
Sunday's game will be the first-ever meeting between Carolina and Belmont in men's basketball. Carolina head coach Roy Williams has never faced Belmont prior to this weekend.
TAR HEELS DOWN HOLY CROSS, 62-54
Marcus Paige scored a career-high 23 points, including 16 in the second half, to lead Carolina to a 62-54 win over Holy Cross on Friday night in a Hall of Fame Tipoff game played in Chapel Hll. Paige's 23 points led all scorers. It was his first 20-point game as a Tar Heel. His previous career high was 19 against Virginia Tech on Feb. 3, 2013.
Brice Johnson scored 12 points and has scored in double figures in each of the first two games this year. Last year he scored in double figures nine times, but not in any of the last 21 games. Johnson also blocked two shots and had five rebounds.
J.P. Tokoto scored all six of his points in the second half and added seven rebounds and five assists. It was the second time in as many games that he had five assists, which is a career high.
After Holy Cross took a 32-29 lead with 16:39 to play, the Tar Heels went on an 18-3 run over the next 7:10 to build a 47-35 lead. Paige (6), Johnson (6) and Tokoto (4) combined for 16 of the 18 Tar Heel points.
Carolina shot 27.3 percent from the floor in the first half and 51.9 percent in the second half.
In the first two games, UNC opponents have shot just 12 for 56 from the floor in the first half (.214). Holy Cross was 6 for 27 from the floor in the opening half, but rallied from an 11-point deficit to force a 25-all tie at intermission.
Kennedy Meeks grabbed a game-high eight rebounds in 13 minutes.