The college basketball season is months away but Florida International University is ahead of the game when it comes to softening the blow of their first loss. FIU was slated to face Ohio State in the opening round of the Coaches vs. Cancer tournament, but have now been thrusted into a matchup with defending champions, North Carolina instead. And let’s just say they’re not all that enthused about their new opponent.
Florida International will pull out of the Coaches vs. Cancer Tournament unless tournament organizers allow FIU to open with Ohio State instead of North Carolina, as the Golden Panthers had expected.
FIU officials were equal parts incensed and stunned when they received an e-mailed press release of the Tar Heels’ schedule, listing Florida International as the season opener. Athletic director Pete Garcia said the school had been approached by the Gazelle Group, the tourney organizers, about switching its opener from the Buckeyes to the defending national champions but refused.
“We knew nothing about this until the press release from North Carolina today,” Garcia said. “We told them last week we would not change the game and had never agreed to this.”
One could argue that FIU shouldn’t be so picky about their first opponent, since they stand to lose either way. I guess they want to get beat by 20 instead of 40. To each his own.