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Heel Tough Blog: 2023 Battle 4 Atlantis Bracket Revealed


@UNC_Basketball


After it was reported earlier in the week that Carolina would take on Northern Iowa in the opening game of the Battle 4 Atlantis event this Thanksgiving, that report has been confirmed, and Carolina will take on the Panthers on Wednesday, November 22nd, at 12 PM on ESPN. The Battle 4 Atlantis has rivaled the historic Maui Invitational for being the best holiday tournament in the non-conference season, and this year isn’t any different. Not only is Carolina in attendance, but so are Villanova, Michigan, Arkansas, and Texas Tech all schools that have made the Elite Eight in the last five seasons. If Carolina were to advance to the winners bracket, they’d take on the winner of the Villanova/Texas Tech contest, meaning that Carolina could see the Wildcats for the first time since losing the 2016 national title game. The bottom of the bracket features a matchup between Michigan and Memphis, and Arkansas facing off against Stanford.


This will be Carolina’s third trip to Atlantis, and the first time since 2019, when they won the third-place game, as they beat the Oregon Ducks. Oddly enough, that was Armando Bacot’s coming out party as a freshman, as he recorded the first double-double of his career, on his way to setting the school record. In 2014, Carolina finished fifth, after losing their opening-round game against Butler, before beating Florida and UCLA.


This will make the fourth time Carolina will have faced Northern Iowa, as the Heels are 2-1 all-time against the Panthers. UNC lost the first-ever contest, back in 2015, when they were ranked #1 country, falling on the road 71-67. That game was played in large to take Marcus Paige home to play in front of his home-state fans. Coincidentally, Paige missed the game due to a hand injury that forced him to miss the first month of the season. In the last matchup, Carolina won 86-69, to open up the 2017-18 season.


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