UNC Basketball: Why Tar Heel Fans Can't Miss Late Night with Roy

Rollin Yeatts@@TSBRollinFeatured ColumnistOctober 24, 2013

Stuart Scott won't be hosting this year, as he is recovering from surgery. Get well, Stu!
Stuart Scott won't be hosting this year, as he is recovering from surgery. Get well, Stu!Grant Halverson/Getty Images

For seven painstaking months, we have been without North Carolina basketball. Well, folks, that marathon of boredom finally ends this Friday with the juiced-up pep rally affectionately known as Late Night with Roy.

I'm here to explain why you should take advantage of the opportunity to watch your 2013-14 Tar Heels take the floor of the Dean Dome for the first time this season.

As if seven months without UNC basketball didn't validate putting a dent in your couch.

Since returning to Chapel Hill in 2003, Roy Williams has been tipping off the basketball season with an entertainment-filled night of dancing, acting and scrimmaging. And just to show how dedicated he is to Carolina athletics, the show has also featured women's volleyball and basketball teams.

Last year, various players from the men's basketball team challenged UNC swimmers, gymnasts, track and field athletes and—my personal favorite—a wrestler in the Late Night skits.

I think J.P. Tokoto may have a career in acting when he shelves his basketball shoes. I see hosting Saturday Night Live in his future.

"Get him, Dex!"

Maybe this year we'll see a rematch between P.J. Hairston and the runners. Somehow, I think he may be competitive this time around.

Just a guess.

While the skits are cheesy and fun, the next-best thing to watching the boys in blue scrimmage has to be the dance segment of the show. That is entertainment at its best.

Last year, we saw the team get down to "Gangnam Style" by Korean sensation Psy.

Can we get "Gentleman" in 2013? Please?

Nothing gets me going like a corny dance routine. Love it.

Speaking of corny—and hilarious—the freshmen were introduced to the Carolina faithful sporting tutus. Oh, yeah. I said tutus.

These guys took it like champs. And they did pretty well, I might add.

J.P. Tokoto may have outperformed the ladies with his routine. It almost looked like he's done this before...

UNC's Renaissance man?

Then, of course, there is the annual dance-off where the players not only freestyle with their favorite moves, but the coaches show they can cut a rug, too.

Yes, even Ol' Roy.

Have I convinced you yet?


That's OK. I know you can't pass up the Blue-White scrimmage. Especially not this season.

In past seasons, the Tar Heels hadn't practiced enough to this point to make it a quality game. And quite frankly, it was way too short to satisfy my Basketball Jones.

This year, however, North Carolina is labeling this night the return of the Blue-White scrimmage. While the game won't be a full 40 minutes, it should be longer and more organized, looking more like a real game and less like pickup in the park.

Seasons like this make the event more special, so the timing of Blue-White's return is impeccable.

The Tar Heels are returning virtually the same group of guys from last year, but there have been many questions regarding the development of the returners. Will they be better than last season? Or will we just see the same product on the court?

Granted, this isn't as telling as a real game, but the trained eye can see progression in any format. You'll also get a feel of how much chemistry they have developed over the last year together.

Or maybe that's the basketball nerd in me...

Either way, it's basketball. UNC basketball.

Feb 23, 2013; Chapel Hill, NC, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels guard Marcus Paige (5) reacts with P.J. Hairston (15) and Leslie McDonald (2) after making a shot in the second half. The Tar Heels defeated the Wolfpack 76-65 as the Dean E. Smith Center. Manda
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

On top of all that, we get to see three outstanding young freshmen take the floor for the first time. Nate Britt, Isaiah Hicks and Kennedy Meeks are sure to excite, and this will be our first opportunity to see what the newbies are made of.

If all of this doesn't give you goosebumps, you might want to check your pulse. For seven long months, it hasn't gotten any better than this.

The event starts at 5 p.m. EST with a volleyball match against Maryland, followed by the basketball extravaganza at roughly 7 p.m. For those of you in the area, here is some helpful information concerning parking, shuttle services, etc. Everyone else can get a taste of the action with Go Heels TV's live broadcast (subscription required).

See you at Late Night!


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