A pair of top teams will do battle on Tuesday evening, with Memphis taking on Oregon as part of the Phil Knight Invitational. The Tigers and the Ducks, both anticipated to seriously contend for their respective league crowns, will face off at the Moda Center in Portland, Ore. Oklahoma will also suit up against Oregon State in this event following the Memphis-Oregon affair.
Preview The final first-round game is expected to be the best.
Myles Powell-led Seton Hall came close to knocking off Michigan State in its first Top 25 contest, while Oregon bested Memphis in its toughest test to date.
The matchup between Powell and Peyton Pritchard will be one of the best you will see throughout nonconference play.
Pritchard averages The Ducks could create an advantage through three-point shooting. They rank seventh in Division I with a If Oregon shoots that well in the Bahamas, it might be able to earn a spot in the championship.
But do not count out Powell's ability to win games on his own since he almost did that versus Michigan State. While the year-old is the most established veteran player, North Carolina's Cole Anthony could be the best overall talent in the field.
The freshman guard started his collegiate career with three straight point performances , and he is coming off a win over Elon in which he earned nine points, 10 rebounds and eight assists.
Holding Alabama to one-shot possessions will affect its crop of scorers led by Kira Lewis, who enters with The Crimson Tide may be too inconsistent to challenge North Carolina.
They suffered losses to Pennsylvania and Rhode Island and only beat Furman by eight in their last contest. Gonzaga is one of three Atlantis participants sitting in the Top 20 of field-goal percentage. Michigan and Oregon are the others.
The Golden Eagles are by far the weakest team in the eight-program showcase. The senior forward made his season debut November 19 and has two double-digit scoring outings under his belt.
If he continues to show progress in his recovery from October knee surgery, he could be the X-factor in a potential final matchup with North Carolina.
Michigan and Iowa State do not enter the Bahamas with much fanfare, but they could make noise over three games. The Wolverines are shooting a ninth-best Each member of the trio averages over 13 points per game, while Teske has 9.
The Tar Heels missed 13 of their first 14 field goal attempts to start the second half as the Wolverines built a point lead on the back of a run.
If they receive help from Eli Brooks, or another scorer further down the depth chart, the Wolverines could throw off plans for a Top 25 matchup in Friday's final.
But first Michigan has to get past an Iowa State lineup with a few electric guards, led by Tyrese Haliburton, who has The year-old's impact could be taken away by Simpson, who was a semifinalist for Defensive Player of the Year last season.
Final Prediction Gonzaga vs. North Carolina The Bulldogs and Tar Heels have the deepest rosters of the eight squads, and that should show over three games in three days.
If that matchup comes to fruition, it would be the third Top 25 final in the last four years of the tournament. With five players who average over five rebounds per game, the Tar Heels could keep Tillie and others from thriving in the paint on any second-chance opportunities.
That could lead to a handful of transition baskets from Anthony, who could use the tournament to showcase himself as one of the sport's biggest stars. Follow Joe on Twitter, JTansey Statistics obtained from ESPN.