Getting to Know the Battle 4 Atlantis Bracket

Brant Wilkerson-New

North Carolina is back in the Battle 4 Atlantis for the first time since 2014 for a tournament that has quickly become one of college basketball's best November events.

This year's edition is no different, as it features four teams ranked between Nos. 6-13 in the AP Top 25 along with should-be NCAA Tournament teams in Iowa State and Michigan.

Get to know the competition:

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Schedule

Wednesday
Michigan vs. Iowa State, 12 p.m. (ESPN)

No. 6 Carolina vs. Alabama, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN)

No. 8 Gonzaga vs. Southern Miss, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)

No. 11 Oregon vs. No. 13 Seton Hall, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN2)

Semifinals
Thursday, 1:30 & 4 p.m. (ESPN)

Championship
Friday, 2 p.m. (ESPN)

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Best Players

Myles Powell | Guard | Seton Hall
A first-team All-Big East pick last season, Powell is the favorite to be the league's player of the year this season.  Powell, a 6-2, 195-pound guard is tough as nails and can get buckets from all over the floor, shooting 42 percent from 3-point range while averaging 22.6 points. 

Payton Pritchard | Guard | Oregon
One of the nation's top point guards, Pritchard does it all for the Ducks, averaging 19.4 points, 5.6 assists and 5.4 rebounds. If Oregon makes a run, it'll be because of Pritchard.

Tyrese Haliburton | Guard | Iowa State
The scoring numbers aren't gaudy, but Haliburton is one of the more intriguing 2020 NBA Draft prospects. A long, 6-5, 175-pound guard, Haliburton is best as a distributor right now, averaging 10.8 points and 10.3 assists.

Filip Petrusev | Forward | Gonzaga
Another in a line of talented international big men for the Zags. After a limited role last season, averaging 6.5 points in 11.4 minutes, he's exploded as a sophomore at 16.3 points and 6.8 rebounds. Petrusev has excellent footwork and moves well, working almost exclusively in the paint.

Killian Tillie | Forward | Gonzaga
Finally healthy, Tillie might be the second-best NBA prospect in the tournament behind Cole Anthony. At 6-10, 220 pounds, Tillie has an inside-out game with the ability to score in the post or step outside and knock down shots from beyond the arc. In two games, he's averaging 14 points and 6 rebounds while hitting 4 of 6 3-point attempts.

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The Contenders

Gonzaga
Another year, another Bulldog team that will be among the nation's best offenses thanks to hot shooting, taking care of the ball and skilled big men. Tillie and Petrusev are a formidable combo down low, while Admon Gilder and Ryan Woolridge are steady hands on the perimeter.

Oregon
The Ducks are 5-0 with a win over Memphis, largely thanks to the 3-pointer. Oregon ranks sixth nationally at shooting it, shooting nearly 43 percent while ranking second at defending it, holding opponents to 20.5 percent. Dana Altman has been bringing in a ton of talent, and he's got the horses to pull this off.

Seton Hall
The Pirates aren't great defensively, but when you've got a senior scorer as talented as Powell, you've got a chance. Seton Hall's chances will rest on how well it can defend and whether anyone steps up to help Powell out. 

Could Win a Game

Michigan
The Wolverines have a nice win over Creighton, but haven't otherwise been tested. This week should be a good measure of where they're at in Juwan Howard's first season. As usual, Michigan is playing well offensively behind Isaiah Livers (17.3 points).

Iowa State
The Cyclones are in transition, having lost four of their top five scorers from last season. Still, Steve Prohm's team will get its offense going sooner than later. ISU needs better shooting to pull off anything of significance, though.

Alabama
The Crimson Tide has the talent to pull off a surprise, but they haven't yet figured out things under first-year coach Nate Oats. Alabama is going to run and shoot threes, but they're not going in and the defense hasn't been good enough to win games.

Enjoy the Weather

Southern Miss
The Golden Eagles had been a pretty solid program in the past decade before the bottom fell out after the departure of Donnie Tyndall. It's a bit too early in Coach Jay Ladner's rebuild to have any expectations for this week.

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Carolina's Scenarios

Worst: Alabama comes out on fire, knocks down a ton of 3-pointers and the Tar Heels finally learn a tough lesson about slow starts, falling in the opener and settling for a fifth-place finish. Carolina leaves the Bahamas no closer to carving out its identity.

Reasonable: Given the challenges this team has faced — some injuries and some self-inflicted — a runner-up finish would be enough to take something positive from the trip.  The Tar Heels certainly could become the best team out of this group, but right now, that's not the case. Taking care of two teams with lesser talent would be the expectation, but Gonzaga, Oregon and Seton Hall would pose a challenge in the final.

Best: The return of Brandon Robinson helps Carolina finally get comfortable in its offense and better in defensive rotations. Open shots start going in, spreading the floor out for Cole Anthony to penetrate and Armando Bacot puts up a few big performances en route to a win over Gonzaga in the championship game. Suddenly, the Tar Heels look like they're on the path to developing into a Final Four contender.

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