Hall of Fame Tip-Off field pits UNC, Louisville in likely title game

Andy Lyons

Two of college basketball's blue blood programs could meet for a non-conference showdown in late November.

The 2013 Hall of Fame Tip-Off tournament is set for Nov. 23-24 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. With three of the four competing teams expected to at least contend for an NCAA Tournament bid next March, there should be no shortage of excitement on the hardwood.

Schedule:

Nov. 23: North Carolina vs. Richmond (noon); Louisville vs. Fairfield (2 p.m.)
Nov. 24: Championship game (1 p.m.); Consolation game (3 p.m.)

Times listed in ET

The Favorite: Louisville

The defending-champion Cardinals should have plenty of talent once again in 2013-14, led by senior guard Russ Smith and incoming transfer Chris Jones. There will likely be some growing pains for coach Rick Pitino's squad early in the year, but the Cardinals still should challenge for a third straight trip to the Final Four come March.

North Carolina is facing some uncertainty right now as P.J. Hairston's legal issues continue to play out, but the Tar Heels look like a quality top-25 bunch. If they meet up with Louisville in the finals, look for UNC to really push the tempo and look to get the Cardinals on their heels early.

Potential Upset: Richmond over North Carolina

The Spiders seem to always be one of the better mid-major programs around, and they bring back all of their key parts from a team that went 8-8 in the Atlantic 10 last season before reaching the CBI quarterfinals. North Carolina should not take Richmond lightly or the Heels could find themselves in the consolidation game.

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