UNC to play in 2002 MSG Holiday Classic

North Carolina head coach Matt Doherty is bringing the Tar Heels to New York City in the 2002-2003 season -- perhaps twice.

According to the NY Post, Carolina will play in the MSG Holiday Classic.

The four-team tournament will have semifinal matchups of St. John's vs. Manhattan and North Carolina vs. Iona.

This could be UNC's second trip to Madison Square Garden in 2002, as the Tar Heels are scheduled to participate in the Preseason NIT, which holds its final games in New York Ciry.

The Iona Gaels, coached by former pro player Jeff Ruland, were 13-17 last season, going 10-7 in the MAAC. They graduate one starter this spring.

St. John's impressive 2001-2002 campaign ended with an NCAA first round loss to Wisconsin. Mike Jarvis' 20-12 (9-7, Big East) team had three seniors -- two frontcourt starters and a sixth-man -- who won't be back. However, their star shoot-first point guard, Marcus Hatten (19.9 points), will return for one more year.

Manhattan compiled a 20-9 record (12-6, MAAC) last season, losing in the first round of the NIT to Villanova. The Jaspers will graduate one starter and two reserves.


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