North Carolina Athletic Director John Swofford announced Tuesday in Chapel Hill that the new, 22,000-seat Student Activities Center will not be completed in time for the basketball team's home opener against UCLA on Nov. 24. That game (which will be nationally televised by ESPN) will be played, instead, at Carmichael Auditorium, a 20-year-old, 10,000-seat facility.
UCLA basketball Coach Walt Hazzard said, "It will make it a tougher game. In their new arena, it would have been almost like a neutral court. Now we're going into their little pit. I had heard rumors about this months ago, that it wouldn't be finished. I know they tried to get it done, because it makes a nice addition to their athletic facility."
North Carolina's first five games--four nonconference games and the Atlantic Coast Conference opener against North Carolina State--are now scheduled to be played at Carmichael Auditorium. The Tar Heels originally were to open the new arena last season, but changes in construction management put the project behind schedule. The new target opening date is January 18, for a game against Duke.