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It Will Be....FIU vs. North Carolina (Updated)

Logo After one week of deciding whether or not to play in the Coaches vs. Cancer Tournament, your Panthers have decided to take on North Carolina on Nov. 9 in Chapel Hill, N.C.

Unc Here's your MH story for Wednesday's paper on Tuesday afternoon....

   FIU will take on North Carolina in Chapel Hill after all on Nov. 9 in the Coaches vs. Cancer Tournament in new Golden Panthers coach Isiah Thomas’s first game.

   Last November, FIU signed a contract to play in the tournament stating the Panthers would open against either Ohio State or North Carolina. FIU was told by tournament organizers that its first round game and season opener would be against Ohio State.

   Last Tuesday, tournament organizers sent FIU an e-mail saying it had switched the Panthers first roundIthomassi game to be against North Carolina. FIU was upset about the way the switch was handled and thought about not playing in the tournament.

   However, the Panthers decided against it on Tuesday afternoon.

   “We felt that after everything that has been said and done over the last 8 or 9 days that the biggest benefit and the biggest winners in our decision to play in this tournament is going to be the American Cancer Society,” FIU athletic director Pete Garcia said.

   Thomas -- whose father, Isiah, and former coach and mentor Chuck Daly both died of cancer -- played his last game at the collegiate level as an Indiana Hoosiers point guard against the Tar Heels in the 1981 National Championship game.

   Now Thomas will make his collegiate coaching debut against North Carolina.

   “We are honored to play against North Carolina, the defending national champions,” Thomas said. “We are happy to participate in the cause and we are proud to be invited and want to help promote the American Cancer Society in any way we can.”

   As part of the tournament, FIU will host a subregional round at U.S. Century Bank Arena from Nov. 20-23 with James Madison, Murray State and North Carolina Central each playing three games.

   Garcia said FIU considered the option to play in the 2010 Coaches vs. Cancer Tournament. Garcia, however, said playing the tournament in 2010 would not have the same appeal as playing this year in Thomas’s first game as coach.

   FIU’s opening game against North Carolina will be broadcast on ESPNU.


* Will get to your questions on the next post




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Good release...actually the guy from Gazelle speaking fairly highly of FIU's value for this game. Kind of surprising he would speak that way...I guess everyone got what they wanted, plus a little more national press out of it....

I'm glad we are playing UNC after all....

FIU looked weak as hell trying to back out of the game against UNC. The contract they signed was crystal clear, they would play Ohio State OR UNC. That FIU tried backing out of it like a scared little kid speaks volumes as to the type of program Isiah Thomas is running. They should just shut up, play ball, and take their whupping like men.

FIU will regret the day they hired Isiah Thomas!

I don't know what the big fuss was all about, Pete needs to work on his knee jerk reactions.

Paco you are MORON !!!

Nobody was backing out of anything or scared to play anyone. You're just another mental midget FIU hater. It's all about media coverage, GENIUS !!

"Dirty" huh, I know who you are ?

All that tough talk by IT and PG for what?

Paco, maybe CrazyCane will share Sebastian with you?

Coming from one of the "dirties" from "Another University"?...that's laughable..

It is what it is.....and now we are playing who we are supposed to play. Sorry, but I really think it is evident your comment shows more your wishful thinking that what you believe.

All that tough talk by IT and PG for what?

Posted by: CrazyCane | September 01, 2009 at 02:16 PM

***Are you serious ?? This will be in the news cycle again for a few days on ESPN in bball circles and garner coverage. In November, no one will care anyway. It's over. Let's move on already !!!

I do believe this was just all media spin by PG and it worked. FIU bball has had more coverage than ever over something really minor. Teams pull out of tournaments or change years they play and it barely gets a mention. Now when we do it it's becoming news. It's not even bball season, it's pre football season!

Pete Garcia is a genius. Hes getting FIU some serious media coverage for FREE!!! No need to pay for attention to be drawn to the program FIU is getting free advertising.

Prior to IT's arrival, how many times did FIU basketball make it to national sports news, especially ESPN?

Prior to IT's arrival, how many top recruits committed to FIU basketball?

Now answer the question since IT's arrival.

And folks still rationalize making statements such as, "you'll regret IT's hiring?" and "why all the fuss?"

Only in Miami!

Go FIU. Go IT. Go P. Garcia!!

amen gpantera... speak the truth!

Heard the Interview link....awesome to hear!

Apparently, they will be announcing major recruits soon.

FIU isn't afraid to play anyone!!! How insane would this be if FIU beats UNC?!

Well said, gpantera...as usual your eloquent self....

As for the interview....my...how times change. The interviewer, Big O, was the same one that completely, totally, unabashedly tore FIU to pieces on a national TV show on ESPN when we hired IT. Now, suddenly and after reading the type of program Isiah is building he was nothing but complimentary. I guess..."Welcome aboard Big O"!!

I'm most excited by the words Pete Garcia used to describe, once again, the "people will be shocked" at the players who will commit..or make it public...in the next couple of weeks. He said that on a 790 interview with LeBatard the day Isiah was hired, and we've seen results. I can't wait to learn who else will be joining the FIU boat soon!!!

Go FIU!!

Just heard the interview with PG...great interview! Publicity is the name of the game, at least for right now.

Nice to hear Big O rooting for us against Bama as well!!! "I hope you crush them"!! Wow, if that doesn't pump you up, I don't know what will!


I'll take any media "friend" we can get but Big O is a total douche. He has been one of our LOUDEST critics in almost every decision we've made and position we've taken. Maybe only lapdog Jim Mandich was more vocal than Big O against IT. Just another phoney radio guy, talk crap to pander to listners UNTIL the guest is on...that's why his ratings suck.

I'll take any media "friend" we can get but Big O is a total douche. He has been one of our LOUDEST critics in almost every decision we've made and position we've taken. Maybe only lapdog Jim Mandich was more vocal than Big O against IT. Just another phoney radio guy, talk crap to pander to listners UNTIL the guest is on...that's why his ratings suck.

Posted by: FIUer | September 01, 2009 at 10:52 PM

Best post in a long time. I can't stand listening to that douche either. One of the biggest phonies out there. ***Sedano is not far behind either, he had Desmond Howard on and did not ask him about FIU or TY.....Do some friggin homework when you have a guest please...and this guy is gonna call our games too ?? What a bust !!! Howard visited FIU this summer to better know our program and meet T.Y.

These radio guys fear they'll get killed for chatting up topics that are not in the national spin cycle. PHONIES.

He may be a douche, but he's starting to sing a different tune. He has no other choice!! There's no denying what FIU can and will become, even the critics are taking notice.

My guess is he would be rooting for any team at this point so long as they beat Nick Saban, but what the heck, I'll take positive comments in favor of FIU anytime.

great GREAT interview nicely done Pete Garcia

WOO-HOO! FIU gets to play UNC! That means I'm going to get to see IT's first game in person! Kick-ass! I just hope I can find the money to go get a ticket!

I don't care if FIU does get destroyed or not, to be honest. Just playing against them in a tournament like this is proof that the ship is starting to turn in hoops. Hopefully, it's not into a corner, like a certain FIU coach I will not mention at this time. :)

I just hope there's some other FIU fans there with me. I don't want to be the only one in a sea of light blue. Get my drift? ;)

"I don't know what the big fuss was all about, Pete needs to work on his knee jerk reactions."

BINGO..... only FIU press (soon to be SID PP)
spun this positively... rest of the country PG looks at minimum like a blowhard... all that "everyone wants to play us " mumbo jumbo...

FIUPike i think he was more focused on desmond howards pass and how he played i think for FSU so the main focus this week will be UM vs. FSU... so i cant blame him for talkin soley about UM vs FSU

To PG's credit, suddenly there is interest to play us. You think anyone even thought about FIU hoops for scheduling before?

We can credit PG for a lot of things around here, including the hiring of IT. But make no mistake, there was no genius in the way this was handled. The only thing the media cares about is IT. Without IT, PG could run nude around the U.S. Century Arena and the write-up the hoops team would get would be in the Beacon.

The media is craving informaiton on Isiah, his recruits, his successes and failures, his off-court actions...everything. FIU is going to be in the regular news cycles for a long time to come thanks to IT. Hopefully this story will have a happy ending but either way, Isiah is worth his weight in media gold.

so to whoever heard the PG interview on 790... anyone have any clue about the top recuits he was talkin about? pete? any insite?

I know its soon, but several key players are playing their final season at FIU. Will be interesting to see the coaching staffs adjustments for NEXT season, especially after FIU takes the SunBelt this year and upsets Rutgers.


I clearly remember several posters on the Panther Prowl mentioning playing UNC way back when UNC had just won the NCAA championship. The topic was that UM WAS NOT playing FIU any longer. The rebuttal by fellow FIU fans was that UM was irrelevant to us (FIU) and that we would rather play the National Champs in hoops and football (UNC & UF). You confirmed this in your responses to whom ever made these postings.

It seems to me that IT didn't want to play UNC and tried to force PG to change to OSU. I agree with you that this will blow over, however I believe FIU looked petty on this one.

BTW my cousin is currently attending Alabama and got me a ticket to the game. I leave early on 9/11 to Alabama FULLY DECKED OUT IN FIU GEAR & will be sitting in the UA STUDENT SECTION! I'm sure I'll be "TAKING ONE" for OUR team. GO Panthers beat BAMA and THE SATAN!!!

I'm sure I'll be "TAKING ONE" for OUR team. GO Panthers beat BAMA and THE SATAN!!!

Posted by: FIU Fan For Life | September 03, 2009 at 11:14 AM

Good Stuff!!! That's great you're going to be in student section. Enjoy the game...I'll be at Sports Grill Sept.12th but definitely we'll be doing Gainesville.


Hey FIU Fan For Life,

I'll be @ the game too!!! However, I'm not that insane to sit in Bama's student section. You are a brave one my friend! I'll be in the comfy environment of the FIU group. Pete, I'm staying in the team hotel you staying there? Drinks on me!



I won't be at the team hotel, will be across the street but I will be there for the drinks on your part! lol

Guys!! You are making me jealous!!! Wish I could make it to the Alabama game...

Pete, I'm staying in the team hotel you staying there? Drinks on me!


Posted by: Ultimate FIU Fan | September 03, 2009 at 01:32 PM

***The PIKES are doing a huge OPEN house on gameday in Tuscaloosa, all invited...It would be great for the whole FIU contingent to join my group there at 12pm for southern BBQ and premium OPEN bar for a nominal donation !! Festivities start at high noon....

Regarding FIU @ UNC b-ball, FIUPIKE has been trying to defend the actions of PG as pure PR genius.

This article from Rivals/Yahoo.com (another national media outlet) agrees with FIUPIKE's point - http://tinyurl.com/n2ytpb

WOW! I cant beleive Troy LOST and North Texas is beating Ball State 20-10!!!! Anybody else watching??

Pete, the guys at North Texas were using Cover it Live (http://www.coveritlive.com) to cover their amazing win over the 2008 undefeated Ball State team. Its a live chat that would be awesome if you used to talk to us during the away games if you are sent to any. It would be much nicer and faster than just posting to the blog. Just a thought.

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