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Maui Invitational Bracket Announced

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The Maui Invitational has released the bracket for the tournament in November revealing two of UNC's opponents. The full bracket can be found here.

UNC will play Florida Atlantic in an opening round game(that has no actual impact on the bracket itself) on November 11th at the Dean Smith Center. Eight days later UNC will play Mississippi State in a rematch of the 2010 NIT 2nd round game. That contest is scheduled for November 19th at 6 PM on ESPN2.

The Heels would then face either Marquette or Butler the following day. The other side of the bracket as Texas playing Division II Chaminade and Illinois vs USC.

The early prognosticators at ESPN have UNC winning the tournament over Texas. If that championship game happens, UNC will end up playing Texas twice in a one month span since there is a December 19th game in Austin already on the schedule. Robbi Pickeral has a nice rundown(same link as above) of the Maui Invitation included which players to watch. Incoming freshman PG Marcus Paige is definitely one everyone will be keeping an eye on.

Marcus Paige, North Carolina: Whether the freshman point guard begins the season as a starter probably depends and how well senior Dexter Strickland has recuperated from February ACL surgery. Either way, the Iowa product (who also had foot surgery during the offseason) will be counted on to contribute quickly. And a lot.

These games in Hawaii will be the first true test for Paige and the other freshman. It is also a chance for James Michael McAdoo to establish himself as an early contender for All-American.