Busting Brackets

NCAA Basketball: Auburn/Duke, UNC/Alabama highlight 10 key storylines for the 2024 ACC-SEC Challenge

Alabama v North Carolina
Alabama v North Carolina / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages
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North Carolina looks for revenge in top-10 matchup

Not too long ago, Alabama knocked off top-seeded North Carolina in the Sweet 16 in a thrilling 89-87 victory, helping propel the Crimson Tide to the Final Four -- their first in program history. North Carolina will now look for its revenge, and the return of presumed preseason First-Team All-American RJ Davis gives the Tar Heels one of the more talented rosters in the country.

However, no roster might be more talented than what Nate Oats has assembled in 2024-25. Returning to Tuscacloosca are the likes of Mark Sears, a presumed preseason All-American, Grant Nelson, Latrell Wrigthsell and Jarin Stevenson. The Crimson Tide also made major splashes in the portal, landing four instant-impact transfers in what should be a star-studded, deep and experienced lineup complimented by the nation’s second-best recruiting class, according to 24/7 Sports.

Whether you call it a “revenge game” or not, this one has all the makings to be an instant classic for the 2024-25 season.

Javian McCollum, Dre Davis, Tyler Nickel, MJ Collins to face former teams

It’s always fun when head coaches play their former schools. How about the players playing their former schools? Georgia Tech transfer Javian McCollum, who averaged 13.3 PPG on 30 of 30 starts for Oklahoma last season, will take on his former school in Norman. Ole Miss transfer Dre Davis, who spent time at both Louisville and Seton Hall, will travel back to the KFC Yum! Center after averaging 15 PPG and nearly six RPG for Seton Hall last season. 

Vanderbilt, who landed a pair of Virginia Tech transfers in Tyler Nickel (8.8 PPG) and MJ Collins (7.4 PPG), will travel back to Blacksburg and may not receive the warmest welcome. Although a singular player or two may not be the sole reason a matchup is intriguing, it certainly adds a bit of spice when they face their former teams.