Tonight's winner gets ... Butler

Tidbits as Illinois prepares to play Chaminade in today's final game at the Maui Invitational:

— This is why a lot of fans thought Illinois should hire Brad Stevens. The coach led Butler past North Carolina 82-71 in the first semifinal. Here's the AP's account:

Maybe North Carolina should have just gone to the beach. Butler is the team to beat in Maui.

Rotnei Clarke and Kellen Dunham each scored 17 points Tuesday night to lead the unranked Bulldogs past No. 9 UNC, jumping out to a 17-point halftime lead and holding back several second-half surges from the Tar Heels in the second round of the Maui Invitational.

The Tar Heels (4-1) missed their first three shots and never led.

One day after a buzzer-beater over Marquette, Butler (3-1) held North Carolina to 18 points in the first half. It was by far the worst output in a half for the Tar Heels so far this season.

P.J. Hairston led UNC with 15 points.

— Ralph Sampson was on our pregame radio show. Listen here

— Voice of the Illini Brian Barnhart had a good view of the first-round win. Check it out here

— Our beat writer has Illinois winning. Read about it here

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