Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Sure, if UNC ends up losing or somehow finding themselves in overtime during the Las Vegas Invitational, I'll be glad to eat crow.
Until then, however, UNC will win the Las Vegas Invitational because their opponents are simply not strong teams. Note that North Carolina's Game 4 opponent will be decided during the Invitational.
Game 1, Mississippi Valley State
MVSU is coming off a two game losing streak, having lost 80-67 against Notre Dame during their season opener and losing 80-70 to DePaul. Expect North Carolina to easily win Game 1.
Game 2, Tennessee State University
The Tigers earned an impressive 90-52 exhibition victory on November 1, but when the real basketball season started, TSU dropped two games to Saint Louis and Western Kentucky. After picking up an easy win against Fisk on Wednesday, TSU will meet South Carolina in Game 1 of the Las Vegas Invitational before taking on UNC in Game 2. Playing in Chapel Hill, this should be no problem for the Tar Heels.
Game 3, South Carolina
The scene shifts to Nevada for Game 3 as UNC takes on South Carolina in a slight intrastate rivalry. USC is 1-1 on the season, having defeated Western Carolina by 25 in their opener, but losing on the road to Elon after leaving the friendly confines of Colonial Life Arena. This matchup should certainly be more intriguing than the first two, but the Tar Heels will still pull out a win against the Gamecocks.
Game 4, Southern California
This game is dependent on results from earlier in this brief tournament. If North Carolina ends up playing their second USC school, the Tar Heels will meet a team playing at the .500 mark after coming off of sanctions related to NCAA bylaw violations committed by former Trojans O.J. Mayo and coach Tim Floyd. Expect USC to put up a decent fight, but still fall to the overpowering UNC squad.
Game 4, UNLV
If UNC ends up facing the Runnin' Rebels of UNLV, they will face the only opponent who, like the Tar Heels, has won the first two games of their regular season. UNLV also holds home field advantage: they will not play a game outside of the Las Vegas area until November 30, when they travel to UC Santa Barbara. Expect Dave Rice's squad to give UNC a good game, though they too will succumb to UNC's superior play in the end.