CHAPEL HILL - Defending NCAA champion North Carolina (13-3, 5-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) will begin play in the 2014 ACC Tournament on Thursday afternoon with a road game at the host school, fifth-ranked Boston College (12-4, 3-4), in Chestnut Hill, Mass.
The Tar Heels are ranked No. 4 in the nation this week in both the IWLCA coaches poll and the Brine media poll. The Eagles are No. 6 in the coaches poll and No. 5 in the media poll this week.
Earlier this season, Carolina edged BC, 14-13, in a thriller in Newton, Mass. Tar Heel sophomore Aly Messinger scored a free position goal with 28 seconds remaining to seal the victory. Messinger had a career-high five goals in that win.
This year's ACC Tournament is the first to include eight teams, so for the first time the event will include a full set of four quarterfinal games.
Thursday's game will be streamed live online by the ACC Digital Network. Dean Linke (play-by-play) and Matt Noonan (analyst) will have the call.
Friday's semifinals and Sunday's championship game will be televised by the ACC's Regional Sports Network, a group of cable stations that includes FOX Sports South, FOX Sports Carolinas, Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, YES, NESN, and more. Mike Hogewood (play-by-play) and Leah Secondo (analyst) will have the television call for RSN this weekend.
Carolina is 13-3 this season and has won 17 of its last 20 games dating back to last season. At the same time, the Tar Heels have lost three of their last five outings—albeit against stiff opposition (a home win over top-ranked Maryland, road losses at Northwestern and Syracuse and an overtime home loss to Duke)
The Tar Heels posted a 5-2 ACC record in 2014, tying the program record for most conference wins in a season.
Boston College is the host of this weekend's ACC Tournament and enters the event having won four of its last five games. Included in that streak was a win at Duke, which beat the Tar Heels last week in Chapel Hill.