Rumor Mill: Gamecocks, Tar Heels To Play In 2011 Las Vegas Invitational?

Lee W.Correspondent IDecember 10, 2010

Can Darrin Horn and the Gamecocks outrun the Tar Heels?
Can Darrin Horn and the Gamecocks outrun the Tar Heels?Andy Lyons/Getty Images

It's official.

Darrin Horn's South Carolina Gamecocks basketball team will be playing in the 2011 Las Vegas Invitational next holiday season.

But whom will they be playing?

According to, South Carolina could be facing basketball giant North Carolina the week after Thanksgiving.

The Gamecocks and Tar Heels will join Southern Cal and UNLV in the tournament. The bracket will also include the likes of Morgan State, Tennessee State, Mississippi Valley State and Cal Poly.

The two Carolina schools last met in 1996. They have met over 70 times on the hardwood and could meet again in the semifinals at the Orleans Arena.

South Carolina will stay home to compete against two of the lower-tier schools the week before Thanksgiving. The Gamecocks get a week off from play Thanksgiving week. The Gamecocks go to Vegas the following week.

Horn's young team should be excited to play in a tournament that would give them early national exposure. Plus, they have a chance to play the Tar Heels, who should also have a young, talented team.

In my mind, the Gamecocks may have the talent to win the tournament. It’s just another reason to look forward to the future of Horn’s basketball program.