UNC's 'secret' scrimmage is at Georgetown

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Wondering about that hole in North Carolina’s preseason schedule?

For the fifth straight season, the Tar Heels will play one exhibition game at the Smith Center (this time, Shaw on Oct. 26), while playing another “secret scrimmage” (this time, at Georgetown on Oct. 28) that is closed to the media and public.

Under NCAA rules, teams can replace one of their two preseason exhibition games with a scrimmage against a Division I team, as long as it is closed and not promoted by the school. Official score cannot be kept, and it is often run more like a practice than a preseason game.

The Tar Heels participated in closed scrimmages against Vanderbilt in 2008 and 2009, against UNC-Greensboro in 2010, and the Hoyas traveled to the Smith Center for a secret scrimmage last preseason.

Coaches have opted more and more often for the closed-scrimmage approach in recent years because it allows their teams to test themselves against a high-caliber opponent before the regular season gets underway.

UNC opens its regular season Nov. 9 at the Smith Center vs. Gardner-Webb.

Follow Robbi Pickeral on Twitter at @bylinerp.