Next up: Puerto Rico

The Pack basketball team leaves today for the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico, land of plantains and rum.

You can see the bracket here.

Andy Katz has some initial thoughts on the tournament (ESPN):

Initial thoughts: NC State is hardly a lock to win this event. The Wolfpack will be getting all the preseason praise but Tennessee is a legit SEC top-three contender and will be one of the hardest teams NC State has to play if the two teams meet in the final. … Oklahoma State will debut one of the most heralded freshmen in Marcus Smart, who was beloved by the U18 USA coaches when they won gold in Brazil last month. … Don’t sleep on UMass. The Minutemen are a legit A-10 contender and have a quality guard in Chaz Williams, formerly of Hofstra. … Providence coach Ed Cooley said he has the best guard in the Big East in Vincent Council. He may be right. … Penn State will be on national display in this event for the first time with its men’s basketball team. By the time this game occurs, the football story will be nearly over for the fall and the Nittany Lions will need a new team to rally around. Pat Chambers has the personality to spark belief in his product. … Back to NCSU. This is a critical tournament for its credibility. The Wolfpack have rightfully received preseason publicity as a potential ACC champ, but a flameout in Puerto Rico will fuel the narrative that they’re not ready for primetime. … The field in this event may not seem filled with NCAA-bound teams, but Oklahoma State and Massachusetts have a real shot to be on the bubble in March. has some game info, including this tidbit:

For the first time since the 1998-99 season, the NC State men’s basketball team will play regular-season games outside the continental United States, when it travels to San Juan, Puerto Rico to participate in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off.

The Puerto Rico Tip-off classic is being discussed on the SFN Forums (here.