North Carolina Tar Heels Overview

Fast facts

League: Division I (NCAA)

Head Coach: Hubert Davis

Team Mascot: Rameses

Year Opened: 1986

Capacity: 21750

City / State: Chapel Hill / North Carolina

Rivalries & Top Games to Attend

North Carolina vs Duke

Rival Team: Duke Blue Devils

North Carolina-Duke is arguably the biggest rivalry in college basketball, so if you ever have the chance to attend a game between these two Tobacco Road rivals jump at it. The rivalry has produced many unforgettable moments over the years including Duke’s 87-86 three overtime victory over the Tar Heels in 1968. National media sports outlets like ESPN and Sports Illustrated have ranked the rivalry as the best in college basketball, so make sure to attend a North Carolina-Duke game if you ever get the chance.

North Carolina vs NC State

Rival Team: NC State Wolfpack

Regardless of the sport, there is always bad blood when the Tar Heels and Wolfpack get together. The two schools are separated by only 25 miles, and both schools have a large number of alumni in the state creating a tense atmosphere whenever these two meet. UNC may lead in the all-time series, but that doesn’t mean you won’t witness a great game when these two get together, so don’t miss it.

North Carolina vs Wake Forest

Rival Team: Wake Forest Demon Deacons

Like the Tar Heels rivalries with the other two Tobacco Road schools, there is no love lost when North Carolina and Wake Forest play. There are a lot of bragging rights on the line when the two nearby schools meet, so if you want to see the Dean Dome abuzz then get tickets to a North Carolina-Wake Forest game.

North Carolina vs Kentucky

Rival Team: Kentucky Wildcats

North Carolina and Kentucky are two of the winningest programs in college basketball, so there is always a lot at stake when these two schools clash. The two schools have played a regular series sporadically and while they aren’t playing regularly right now if you get the chance to see these two basketball titans play don’t miss it.

North Carolina Tar Heels Stadium Guide

In Game

North Carolina basketball games have been selling out for decades and with good reason since the Tar Heels are one of the most successful teams in the country. The Dean Dome is always at capacity, so you’ll experience a full and lively crowd when attending a game in Chapel Hill.

The student section inside the Dean Smith Center is especially vocal in their support. The rowdy nature and crazy antics of the student section go a long way in making North Carolina a tough place for opposing teams to play. Whether it’s going crazy during the Tar Heels warm-ups or jumping around before tip-off, the students are always showing their support for their team.

You’ll also encounter plenty of shrines to the Tar Heels illustrious history when attending a game at the Dean Smith Center. While the Dean Smith Center isn’t home to a hall of fame, there is an entire basketball museum dedicated to the Tar Heels basketball program right next door. You’ll also find numerous banners hanging from the rafters that show off the Tar Heels retired numbers and national championships. Make sure to arrive early to stop by the museum and check out the banners hanging inside the Dean Smith Center.

Finally, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill campus is absolutely gorgeous so take some time to explore the nearby area. Also, make sure to head to Franklin Street if you want to grab a bite to eat or drink before the game.

A trip to Chapel Hill is on the bucket list of any college basketball fan, so start planning your trip today to experience the one of a kind experience that is attending a game at the Dean Smith Center.

Things to check out

Carolina Basketball Museum

Located right next to the Dean Smith Center is the Carolina Basketball Museum. The museum is home to an incredible amount of North Carolina basketball artifacts and is a must-see for basketball fans. It’s open from 10:00 to 4:00 on weekdays and 9:00 to 1:00 on Saturdays, so stop by before the game to check it out.

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The rafters above the floor of the Dean Smith Center are littered with banners honoring the best players and teams in Tar Heels history. Take a minute before the game starts to remember all of North Carolina’s best players including the greatest of them all, Michael Jordan.

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Team Store

Stop by the Tar Heels Team Store if you want to pick up a souvenir from your trip to Chapel Hill. The store is home to a variety of gear including jerseys, t-shirts, hats, and much more.

The Slide

During the pregame warm-ups, the Tar Heels players dance in uniform and then slide on their stomachs. The slide is a lot of fun for the players and everyone in the arena goes crazy when they do it, so arrive early to see this fun game day tradition.

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Jump Around

Right before tip-off, the fans jump up and down to “Jump Around” by House of Pain. It gets everyone up and on their feet right before the game starts and is an excellent way to show off your Tar Heels spirit, so join in on the fun.

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Thanking the Passer

After each bucket the player who made the shot looks and points at the player who passed him the ball. The tradition does an excellent job of promoting teamwork and has become a signature of UNC basketball over the years.

The Tar Pit

The Tar Pit is the official UNC student section, which remains loud and rambunctious throughout the game regardless of the score. The student section really helps to create the great atmosphere that can be found at a UNC basketball game and also helps spur on their team to victory. If you are looking to sit alongside the wildest and craziest fans at a Tar Heels games, make sure to sit here.

Rameses the Ram

Rameses the Ram has been the Tar Heels mascot since 1924. The mascot was chosen due to the team’s star fullback in 1922 Jack Merritt being nicknamed the “Battering Ram.” Rameses has stuck around ever since and has spawned two versions of the mascot a live ram and an anthropomorphic ram that is part of the cheer squad. Look for the costumed Ramesses to entertain the crowd at a UNC basketball game.

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Pep Band

The Tar Heels pep band helps ignite the atmosphere inside the Dean Dome with their incredible performances. All throughout the game you’ll hear a variety of North Carolina school songs, so enjoy the music of the pep band when attending a Tar Heels basketball game.

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Fight Songs

  1. Here Comes Carolina

    Here comes Car’lina lina
    Here comes Car’lina lina
    We hail from NCU

    We’ve got the team to win it,
    We’ve got the spirit in it,
    We wear the colors white and blue.

    So it’s fight, fight, fight for Carolina
    As Davie did in days of old;
    As we rally round the Well,
    Cheer that Tar Heel team like hell,
    For the glory of NCU.

  2. Tar Heels on Hand

    Tar Heels on Hand,
    To steal the Thunder from the Sky:
    Then take our stand,
    As every man does right by Blue and White,
    We’ll give the Tar Heels a Hand,
    And cheer them on to do or die (Yeah!)
    All of us are for U.N.C.
    and you can betcha we’re proud to be
    the Tar Heels on Hand!

  3. Carolina Victory

    There’ll be a Carolina Victory
    When cross the field the foe has fled
    Cheer the team to Victory
    For we are Tar Heels Born and Bred (Rah! Rah! Rah!)
    Glory Glory U.N.C.
    Our hearts will live with thee
    Fight! Fight! Fight the Blue and White are
    Rolling to Victory!

  4. I’m a Tar Heel Born

    UNC’s primary fight song

    I’m a Tar Heel born.
    I’m a Tar Heel bred.
    And when I die I’m a Tar Heel dead.
    So it’s rah, rah Car’lina, lina.
    Rah, rah Car’lina, lina.
    Rah, rah Car’lina, lina.
    Rah, Rah, Rah.

    I’m a Tar Heel born.
    I’m a Tar Heel bred.
    And when I die I’m a Tar Heel dead.
    So it’s rah, rah Car’lina, lina.
    Rah, rah Car’lina, lina.
    Rah, rah Car’lina, lina.
    Rah, Rah, Rah.

    Go Tar Heels!
    Go Tar Heels!
    Go Tar Heels!

  5. Hark the Sound

    UNC alma mater

    Hark the sound of Tar Heel voices
    Ringing clear and True
    Singing Carolina’s praises
    Shouting N.C.U.

    Hail to the brightest Star of all
    Clear its radiance shine
    Carolina priceless gem,
    Receive all praises thine.

    I’m a Tar Heel born I’m a Tar Heel bred
    And when I die I’m a Tar Heel dead.
    So it’s RAH, RAH, Car’lina ‘lina
    RAH, RAH, Car’lina ‘lina
    RAH, RAH, Car’lina
    RAH! RAH! RAH!

North Carolina Tar Heels Bars & Restaurants

  1. Time-Out Restaurant

    Time Out

    Legendary counter serve dispensing chicken-cheddar biscuits & other Southern eats round the clock.

    201 E Franklin St, Chapel Hill, NC 27514, USA

    Bar website

    american - $$

  2. He’s Not Here

    Hes Not Here Chapel Hill

    Storied collegial haunt offering a multitude of draft beers & an unpretentious vibe.

    112 1/2 W Franklin St, Chapel Hill, NC 27516, USA

    Bar website

    american - sportsbar - $$

  3. Natty Greene’s Brewery


    We brew beer for people who like to drink beer, more than one!

    345 S Elm St, Greensboro, NC 27401, USA


    Bar website

    american - $$

  4. The Cave

    House of Wings Sportsbar Beer 3rd Base Sports Bar Beer Kilroys Beer

    Iconic underground hangout with a dark, intimate vibe featuring live music most nights & a full bar.

    452 1/2 W Franklin St, Chapel Hill, NC 27516, USA


    Bar website

    american - $

  5. The Crunkleton


    The Crunkleton is a private club that makes the old new again by serving up classic cocktails with modern twists to its members and their guests in an authentic, timeless setting.

    320 W Franklin St, Chapel Hill, NC 27516, USA


    Bar website

    american - $$

  6. He’s Not Here

    Hes Not Here

    This storied neighborhood haunt offers a multitude of draft beers & an unpretentious vibe.

    112 1/2 W Franklin St, Chapel Hill, NC 27516, USA


    Bar website

    american - $

  7. Top of the Hill

    Top of the Hill

    Contemporary late-night brewery offers housemade draft beer, eclectic American fare & patio seating.

    100 E Franklin St #3, Chapel Hill, NC 27514, USA


    Bar website

    american - $$

  8. Linda’s Bar and Grill

    Lindas Bar Grill

    Burgers, sandwiches & wings feature on the menu at this long-running unpretentious hangout.

    203 E Franklin St, Chapel Hill, NC 27514, USA


    Bar website

    american - $$

  9. Zogs Pool

    Zogs Art Bar

    Artsy, Dog-Friendly, New Orleans-Style dive bar in downtown Chapel Hill.

    108 Henderson St, Chapel Hill, NC 27514, USA


    Bar website

    american - $

  10. Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen

    Sundowners Family Restaurant Sandwich

    No-frills drive-thru window serving sandwiches & country-style biscuits for breakfast & lunch.

    1305 E Franklin St, Chapel Hill, NC 27514, USA

    919- 933-1324

    Bar website

    american - $

  11. The Pig

    The Pig Restaurant

    Working with the NC Natural Hog Grower's Association & their antibiotic & hormone-free, pasture-raised piggies to bring regional flavors & local ingredients to the party in your tummy.

    630 Weaver Dairy Rd, Chapel Hill, NC 27514, USA


    Bar website

    bbq - $$

  12. Elmo’s Diner

    Elmos Diner

    Breakfast anytime & other American square meals in homey digs with booths & a family-friendly vibe.

    776 9th St, Durham, NC 27705, USA


    Bar website

    american - $$

  13. Mama Dip’s Kitchen

    Mama Dips Kitchen

    Whether you’re looking for great family-style dining, a take-out meal to share at home, a picnic basket to go, or sauces and spreads from the general store, Mama Dip’s is the place to find delicious country cooking.

    408 W Rosemary St, Chapel Hill, NC 27516, USA


    Bar website

    american - $

  14. Lemongrass Thai Restaurant

    Lemongrass Thai

    One of the best places in North Carolina to try when you're craving for authentic and fresh Asian cuisine.

    8320 Litchford Rd, Raleigh, NC 27615, USA


    Bar website

    asian - $$

  15. Sutton’s Drug Store

    Suttons Drug Store

    Sutton's is a drugstore grill that mixes Tar Heel tradition with a bit of old-school charm.

    159 E Franklin St, Chapel Hill, NC 27514, USA


    Bar website

    american - $

  16. Al’s Burger Shack

    AIs Burger Shack

    Exceptional burgers, dogs, and shakes from the best local ingredients!

    516 W Franklin St, Chapel Hill, NC 27516, USA


    Bar website

    american - $

  17. Sup Dogs

    Over 20 all beef hot dogs and 14 specialty hand packed burgers. Innovative food and drinks, plus a high-energy and lively dining experience.

    107 E Franklin St, Chapel Hill, NC 27514, USA


    Bar website

    american - $

  18. Four Corners Grille

    Four Corners

    At Four Corners we tip our hat to Smith and serve as Franklin Street's premier destination for casual dining and the Carolina sports experience.

    175 E Franklin St, Chapel Hill, NC 27514, USA


    Bar website

    sportsbar - $$