The North Carolina No. 1 will kick off its Thanksgiving with a 1:00 p.m. game against the Portland Pilots. Thursday morning will be the first of three games in four days for the Tar Heels, who are looking to win a championship from Portland.
Regardless of the outcome, they will face either Villanova or Iowa State on Friday.
The Wildcats, who are 2-2 this season, lost close games to Temple and Michigan State, while recording wins over La Salle and Delaware State. In his freshman year in Philadelphia, Kyle Neptune will be looking to get Villanova back on track against the Cyclones.
Iowa State enters Portland with a 3-0 record, beating opponents by an average of 34 points. Guard Jaren Holmes and his 18.3 points per game guide the Cyclone offense, which also struggles beyond the arc, shooting a measly 27 percent from three.
After two games in two days, North Carolina will wrap up its trip to Portland on Sunday in either the championship game or a consolation game.
The Tar Heels will face Alabama, Michigan State, Oregon or UConn.
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A top-20 game on Thursday between the Crimson Tide (4-0) and Spartans (3-1) will highlight the plethora of talent on the court, as the two ranked foes look to add a Quad 1 victory to the RESUME.
Alabama dominated its mid-major competition, while Michigan State dropped a point to Gonzaga with quality wins over Kentucky and Villanova.
Oregon and UConn round out the Phil Knight Invitational field, as the Ducks have the chance to earn a top-20 win over the Huskies.
At 2-2, Oregon enters the season opener with question marks aplenty. An expected loss to Houston coupled with an upset loss at the hands of UC-Irvine leaves Dana Altman and company with the need for a signature win in the non-conference schedule.
Meanwhile, UConn easily dealt with its first four opponents, including a 36-point victory over UNC-Wilmington, which North Carolina struggled to put away in its season opener.
In total, there are three other ranked teams in Portland, with the Tar Heels guaranteed to face one of the aforementioned programs.
A win over a top-25 team would help ease outside concerns as North Carolina looks to show why it’s the No. 1 team in the nation.