Hawaii beckons State, Ole Miss

By From School Reports

Both Mississippi State and Ole Miss are slated for men’s basketball tournaments in Hawaii this fall.
Mississippi State will meet North Carolina on Nov. 19 in the opening round of the 2012 EA Sports Maui Invitational, while Ole Miss plays Indiana State on Dec. 22 in the opening round of the Diamond Head Classic in Honolulu.
ESPN rolled out the brackets for most of the major holiday tournaments on Thursday.
MSU played in the Diamond Head Classic in late 2010. Ole Miss hasn’t played in Hawaii since the 2000-01 season.
The MSU-North Carolina game, which will be seen on ESPN2, is a rematch of a second-round NIT game in 2010, won 76-74 by the Tar Heels in Starkville.
North Carolina, 5-0 all-time against the Bulldogs, is coming off a 32-6 campaign and a trip to the NCAA’s Elite Eight.
“This is a great opportunity for our guys to play against a storied college basketball program,” first-year MSU coach Rick Ray said in a statement. “Coach (Roy) Williams always has a talented group that is always well prepared. I know our players are excited about this challenge.”
His Bulldogs would play either Butler or Marquette on Nov. 20. Other teams in the event are Southern Cal, Illinois, Texas and Chaminade.
Mississippi State will announce the remainder of its non-conference schedule next week.
Ole Miss will be in the Diamond Head field with at least two likely top-25 teams, Arizona and San Diego State. The other teams in the field are East Tennessee State, Hawaii, Miami and San Francisco.
Indiana State, from the Missouri Valley Conference, went 18-15 last season. Ole Miss would play either San Diego State or San Francisco on Dec. 23, with the championship and consolation games on Christmas Day.
The preliminary games will be seen on ESPNU, with one of the semifinals and the Christmas games on ESPN2.
While in town, the teams will have the opportunity to attend the Dec. 24 Sheraton Hawaii Bowl.

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