No. 2 Arizona Tops 2014 Maui Invitational Field
By MauiNow Staff
The 31st annual EA Sports Maui Invitational hosted by Chaminade begins Monday, Nov. 24, at the Lahaina Civic Center, where the nation’s No. 2-ranked Arizona Wildcats, Kansas State, Missouri, Pittsburgh, Purdue, No. 16 San Diego State and host Chaminade are each hoping to make an early-season statement on the Valley Isle.
The annual pre-Thanksgiving tournament has a long history of showcasing the best in college basketball featuring a field of some of the biggest names in the sport. In total, participating schools in the 2014 Maui Invitational have earned 179 NCAA Tournament bids, 10 Final Four appearances and won 139 conference championships.
“I expect many of this year’s match-ups of the 2014 EA SPORTS Maui Invitational will be exciting, down to the wire contests. This year’s games will be appointment basketball,” sixth-year Tournament Chairman Dave Odom said. “With conference and national championship contenders squaring off as part of this year’s Tournament, we are looking forward to our annual serving of Maui Magic.”
ARIZONA: The 2014 EA SPORTS Maui Invitational will be the Arizona Wildcats’ sixth appearance – which will tie them for most all time with 2012 participant North Carolina. Arizona has competed in three Championship games – winning in 2000, as well as 1993 and 1997 when the team finished in second place. Arizona holds the distinction of reaching the NCAA Tournament for 25 consecutive years from 1985-2009 (including four Final Fours). The Wildcats have earned 29 total NCAA Tournament appearances and won 25 conference titles.
BYU: The Cougars will participate in their third EA SPORTS Maui Invitational in 2014 – with the team’s best finish coming in 1992 as the runner-up. BYU has enjoyed a resurgence of the program in recent years with six-straight NCAA Tournament appearances from 2007-2012, including a visit to the Sweet Sixteen in 2011. BYU has earned 27 all-time NCAA Tournament appearances and won 29 conference titles.BYU at a Glance: Conference: West Coast Conference Location: Provo, Utah Head Coach: Dave Rose (9th year) Arena: Marriott Center (20,900) Nickname: Cougars Colors: Blue and White
KANSAS STATE: Co-Champions of the Big 12 in 2013, the Wildcats will make their third appearance in the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational in 2014 with the team’s best finish coming in 1985 as the runner-up. After an NCAA Tournament drought since 1996, Kansas State has earned appearances in five Tournaments since 2008 – reaching the Elite Eight in 2010. Kansas State has made the NCAA Tournament 27 times in the program’s history (including four Final Fours), while winning 18 conference titles.Kansas State at a Glance: Conference: Big 12 Location: Manhattan, Kan. Head Coach: Bruce Weber (3rd year) Arena: Bramiage Coliseum (12,528) Nickname: Wildcats Colors: Royal Purple
MISSOURI: Champions of the 1989 EA SPORTS Maui Invitational, the Tigers are making their fourth appearance at the Tournament in 2014. The Tigers, who recently moved to the SEC in 2012, have earned five straight NCAA Tournament appearances while reaching the Elite Eight in 2009. Missouri has earned 25 all-time NCAA Tournament appearances while winning 15 conference titles.Missouri at a Glance: Conference: SEC Location: Columbia, Mo. Head Coach: Kim Anderson (1st year) Arena: Mizzou Arena (15,061) Nickname: Tigers Colors: Black and MU Gold
PITTSBURGH: First-ever participants in the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational in 2014, the Panthers are on a roll having appeared in 10 straight NCAA Tournaments from 2002-2011 and having won five of six early-season tournament championships from 2006-2012. Pittsburgh has made 24 all-time NCAA Tournament appearances and has won 10 conference titles. Pittsburgh joined the ACC, with 2013 EA SPORTS Maui Invitational Champion Syracuse, in 2013.Pittsburgh at a Glance: Conference: ACC Location: Pittsburgh, Pa. Head Coach: Jamie Dixon (12th year) Arena: Petersen Events Center (12,508) Nickname: Panthers Colors: Blue and Gold
PURDUE: Participants in two previous EA SPORTS Maui Invitational Tournaments, the Boilermakers are the all-time leader in Big Ten Conference titles with 22 and celebrated their most recent Big Ten Conference Championship in 2010 under Coach Matt Painter. The team has also earned its way to 26 all-time NCAA Tournaments while making two Final Four appearances.Purdue at a Glance: Conference: Big Ten Location: West Lafayette, Ind. Head Coach: Matt Painter (7th year) Arena: Mackey Arena (14,123) Nickname: Boilermakers Colors: Black and Old Gold
SAN DIEGO STATE: The Aztecs, who will make their third appearance at the 2014 EA SPORTS Maui Invitational, have enjoyed recent success under Coach Steve Fisher appearing in four straight NCAA Tournaments (2010-2013) and winning two straight (2011-2012) Mountain West Conference championships. San Diego State has earned nine all-time NCAA Tournament appearances and won 18 conference titles.San Diego State at a Glance: Conference: Mountain West Location: San Diego, Calif. Head Coach: Steve Fisher (16th year) Arena: Viejas Arena (12,414) Nickname: Aztecs Colors: Red, Black, and White
CHAMINADE: Chaminade, host University and participants in each EA SPORTS Maui Invitational since 1984, the Silverswords have earned four NCAA Division II Tournament appearances and won three Pac-West Conference championships – most recently in 2011.
Since the inception of the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational in 1984, 99 schools representing 23 conferences and 40 states have competed in the event. Schools that have participated in the Tournament in November have finished their seasons with 104 NCAA Tournament appearances, 36 trips to the Sweet 16, 18 Final Fours and eight national championships.Chaminade at a Glance: Conference: Pac West Location: Honolulu, HI Head Coach: Eric Bovaird (3rd year) Arena: McCabe Gym Nickname: Silverswords Colors: White, Blue, Silver Tickets may be purchased online at mauiinvitational.com. The on-site Tournament Box Office at the Lahaina Civic Center will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. throughout the weekend leading up to the tournament and on game days from 8 a.m. until the end of the last game of the day. Tickets can also be purchased by calling the on-site box office at 808.667.DUNK (3865).ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU will offer live coverage of all 12 Championship Round contests. Games will also be broadcast live on the WatchESPN app and WatchESPN.com.For more information about the Tournament, please visit mauiinvitational.com. You may also follow live updates and interact with the Tournament on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @EASPORTSMauiInv and with the Tournament’s official hashtag, #mauihoops.