With less than a month to go before the new regime of coach Larry Fedora as the head man of UNC Football truly begins it is time to look at something that has to do with… North Carolina Basketball, of course. A couple of days ago the Maui Invitational released the bracket for its 29 edition, where, according to ESPN’s Andy Katz, the Heels seem to be the favorite to win this mid November Tournament.
The tournament begins with “opening games” played at various locations and dates, which have no consequences on the real tournament. Not sure why these games are being played, besides that it’s another way for the tournament’s sponsors and television coverage to make some extra money, but that is the era we live in, so let’s move on. Head coach Roy Williams’ squad will take on Florida Atlantic in Chapel Hill on November 11th, time to be determined. All of the eight teams that will be heading to Maui will be playing one of these “opening games”, which start on the 9th and go to the 13th, depending on how each team scheduled their game.
Then, starting on the 19th all the way to the 21st, the real tournament will be played out at Chaminade University. Carolina will take on Mississippi State (6:00 pm EST on ESPN 2) with the winner taking on the winner of Butler/Marquette (3:30 pm EST on ESPN 2), and the loser going playing the loser of the earlier match. On the other side of the bracket it will be Texas vs Chaminade (9:30 pm EST on ESPN 2), with the winner going up against the winner or USC/Illinois (midnight EST on ESPN 2). All the eight teams, win or lose, will play three games a piece, which is a great way for all the programs to be able to get their teams ready for the season.
I have to say I truly like when the North Carolina Basketball team is able to go to some sort of tournament, as it is a great way for the squad to gel together, especially when there are so many new members to the squad. It is also a great way to see early on in the season what the newest member of the team can do as the will be playing good competition in a back to back to back format. For the coaching staff, the fan base and of course for bloggers like me this is going to be a good way to see how UNC stacks up after having four of its starters moving on to the National Basketball Association. Questions like who is going to be the “go to” guy from the remaining players from last season, who is going to be the top of the incoming class, how will the team mold together, and of course, who is going to be the leader of the team. For now, back to the gridiron, but always remember that either football or basketball news make sure to always come back to isportsweb!