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North Carolina to play basketball at Long Beach State

North Carolina Tar HeelsLong Beach State 49ersCollege SportsSportsBasketballSyracuse OrangeNCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament

Long Beach State will play North Carolina in basketball for the third consecutive season in 2012, the latest example that 49ers Coach Dan Monson doesn't duck anybody.

More evidence: Long Beach will also play Syracuse, Ohio State, Arizona, UCLA and USC next season.

The North Carolina game is especially notable, though, because the Tar Heels will be coming to the Walter Pyramid on the Long Beach State campus Nov. 16.

North Carolina was ranked sixth in the final ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll last season. Syracuse was fifth and Ohio State third.

But tough nonconference schedules are nothing new for Monson and Long Beach. Last season, the 49ers played eight games against NCAA tournament teams, including Kansas and Louisville, who both made the Final Four.

Long Beach, defending champion of the Big West Conference, opens No. 10 at home against North Alabama. North Carolina is the 49ers' third game.

Long Beach plays at USC on Nov. 13, at Arizona on Nov. 19, at Syracuse on Dec. 6, at Ohio State on Dec. 8 and at UCLA on Dec. 18.

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