Maui Invitational lineup filled with intriguing matchups
LAHAINA — The 27th EA Sports Maui Invitational, the nation’s premier early-season college basketball tournament, will be held during Thanksgiving week, Nov. 22 to 24, at Lahaina Civic Center.
Three teams with a combined 11 national championships — Connecticut, Kentucky and Michigan — will headline the 2010 field.
They will be joined by Oklahoma, Virginia, Washington, Wichita State and host school Chaminade University of Honolulu in the hunt for the coveted Wayne Duke Championship Trophy.
First-round action tips off on Monday, Nov. 22, in the top half of the bracket with game one featuring Wichita State, which finished second in the Missouri Valley Conference last year and is coached by Gregg Marshall, and 2005 EA Sports Maui Invitational champion and two-time national champion Connecticut led by coach Jim Calhoun.
The winner of this game will take on the winner of game three, which pits two-time national champion and 1991 Maui champion Michigan State, led by Tom Izzo, against tournament host Chaminade and the winningest coach in program history, Matt Mahar.
The bottom half of the bracket starts with game two featuring Coach Jeff Capel and Oklahoma, which made the NCAA Tournament two of the last three years, against seven-time national champion, 1993 Maui champion and last year’s SEC regular season and tournament champion Kentucky led by head coach John Calipari.
Game four pairs 1996 and 2002 Maui runner-up Virginia, led by second-year Coach Tony Bennett, the 2007 AP National Coach of the Year at Washington State, against Pac-10 power Washington, which under the direction of Coach Lorenzo Romar will make its first appearance in Maui.
“This year’s 27th annual tournament showcases another field of powerhouse competition,” said EA Sports Maui Invitational Tournament Chairman David Odom.
“College basketball fans from around the globe can look forward to another remarkable and exciting week of basketball at one of the most unique basketball venues and most beautiful destinations in the world.”
The ESPN networks will combine once again to offer live television coverage of all 12 tournament games.
For ticket information, visit www.mauiinvitational.com.
In related news, Chaminade University and the 27th annual EA Sports Maui Invitational Basketball Tournament will present the annual Maui Silverswords’ Basketball Hoops Clinic on Saturday, Nov. 20.
The event will start with registration at 1:30 p.m. at the Malu-ulu-o-lele Park courts along Front in Lahaina.
The clinic from 2 to 3 p.m. will be led by Head Coach Matt Mahar and the Chaminade men’s basketball team.
Students ages 6-16 will focus on the basic fundamentals of the game, including dribbling, passing and shooting. For more information, call 661-4685.
All participants are asked to bring two canned good items in an effort to benefit Maui’s community.
Participants will have an opportunity to win general admission tickets to Chaminade’s opening game of the tournament against last season’s Final Four contender Michigan State on Monday, Nov. 22, at 4:30 p.m. Tickets will be raffled off at the end of the clinic.