Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational Preview
Today begins the Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational, which has a loaded group of four, headlined by North Carolina and Michigan State, while they have two good teams with Texas and UCLA playing as well. North Carolina is the tournament favorite as they have the best player in the field in Luke Maye and a deep roster filled with many great players. Michigan State was a preseason Top-10 team, they have a good roster. Texas and UCLA are seemingly behind those two teams, however, I think both teams are capable of winning two games in this event. Below I will give a power rankings with a preview and then I will give my predictions for each game.
1.North Carolina: The Tar Heels have an absolutely stacked roster filled with multiple high-level players. Luke Maye is considered the best player on the team, as he can score and rebound at a high level. He plays well alongside a roster that includes Coby White, Cam Johnson, Nassir Little, Garrison Brooks, and Kenny Williams. This team will be expected to win the event, as their roster is the most talented, however, they do need to be on upset alert.
2.Michigan State: The Spartans have a talented team with a good group of experienced veterans, along with some good young players. Cassius Winston is a great point guard, while Josh Langford is a good scorer on the wing. The Spartans will be needing players like Nick Ward, Xavier Tillman, and Kenny Goins to step up in the frontcourt if they do want to win this event. Look for this Michigan State team to win in round one, while potentially winning the event if they can beat either Texas or North Carolina.
3.Texas: The Longhorns have gotten off to a good start to the season, as they enter this event still undefeated. Kerwin Roach is the senior leader, he’s been playing great this season, while Dylan Osetkowski is a good Robin to Roach’s Batman. The Longhorns have struggled at times to create offense, which could hurt them in this tournament but they certainly have the ability to shut down teams. I think the Longhorns will probably go 1-1 in this event, as they won’t have a good enough offense to win two games but they’re still good enough on the defensive end to win a game.
4.UCLA: The Bruins are also off to a good start to the season as they have yet to lose, the only problem is that they really haven’t played anyone. Moses Brown is a beast inside, while Kris Wilkes is the star-guard who leads them in scoring. The real key will be what they can get out of players like Jaylen Hands, Chris Smith, Jules Bernard, and Prince Ali, who are more of role players. If they can get a good showing out of them, they will have an opportunity to win a game in this event, if not they could leave this event with two losses.
Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational Predictions:
North Carolina 74 Texas 68
Michigan State 81 UCLA 69
3rd Place Game: Texas 75 UCLA 70
Championship Game: Michigan State 78 North Carolina 77