Championship Contenders Ready to Compete in 2015 Maui Jim Maui Invitational
The 32nd annual Maui Jim Maui Invitational tips off Monday at Maui’s Lahaina Civic Center.
Three top-20 teams, No. 4 Kansas, No. 14 Indiana and No. 17 Vanderbilt, are among the contenders competing for early-season bragging rights.
The Championship Round features: Indiana, Kansas, St. John’s, UCLA, UNLV, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest and host Chaminade.
The Maui Jim Maui Invitational field once again boasts some of the nation’s top talent.
Teams in the Championship Round have combined to win 20 national championships, 11 from NCAA leader UCLA. The teams have also made 47 trips to the Final Four and have earned 215 NCAA Tournament berths.
Indiana, Kansas, St. John’s and UCLA appeared in the 2015 NCAA Tournament, with the Bruins advancing to their second straight regional semifinal. Those same four schools are also among the top 10 all-time winningest programs in NCAA Division I history.
History shows that conference titles, postseason bids, Final Four appearances and national championship aspirations can be forged in early-season competition. In the last 11 seasons, three teams that have won the Maui Jim Maui Invitational have gone on to win the NCAA Championship later that year.
North Carolina achieved the feat in the 2004-05 and 2008-09 seasons, while Connecticut won both events in the 2010-11 campaign. And since the Tournament’s inception in 1984, 118 teams that started the season in Maui advanced to the NCAA Tournament later in the year.
“This year’s field includes teams that have significant conference and national championship aspirations,” Tournament Chairman Dave Odom said in a statement. “The competition they will face for three days at the Maui Jim Maui Invitational can help set the stage for what could be long and magical seasons. These games will have national implications.”
Several standouts that were mentioned as preseason All-Americans by various outlets will headline this year’s field, including: Indiana’s Kevin Yogi Ferrell; Kansas’ Perry Ellis and Wayne Selden Jr.; UCLA’s Bryce Alford; UNLV’s Stephen Zimmerman Jr.; and Vanderbilt’s Damian Jones.
The eight coaches of the Maui Jim Maui Invitational have appeared in at least one Final Four as a player or a coach in their careers, with four, Kansas’ Bill Self, UCLA’s Steve Alford, UNLV’s Dave Rice and Wake Forest’s Danny Manning, winning NCAA Championships. Alford, Manning and St. John’s Chris Mullin, were All-American standouts as players, while Mullin and Manning enjoyed All-Star careers at the NBA level.
Maui Jim Maui Invitational Championship Round Schedule
|CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND – Nov. 23-25|
|Game 1||St. John’s vs. Vanderbilt||Nov. 23||2:30 p.m.||ESPN2|
|Game 2||Wake Forest vs. Indiana||Nov. 23||5 p.m.||ESPN2|
|Game 3||Kansas vs. Chaminade||Nov. 23||9 p.m.||ESPNU|
|Game 4||UNLV vs. UCLA||Nov. 23||11:30 p.m.||ESPN2|
|Game 5||G1 Loser vs. G2 Loser||Nov. 24||2 p.m.||ESPN2|
|Game 6||G3 Loser vs. G4 Loser||Nov. 24||4:30 p.m.||ESPN2|
|Game 7||G1 Winner vs. G2 Winner||Nov. 24||7:30 p.m.||ESPN|
|Game 8||G3 Winner vs. G4 Winner||Nov. 24||10 p.m.||ESPN|
|Game 9||TBD vs. TBD||Nov. 25||2:30 p.m.||ESPNU|
|Game 10||TBD vs. TBD||Nov. 25||5 p.m.||ESPN2|
|Game 11||TBD vs. TBD||Nov. 25||7:30 p.m.||ESPN2|
|Game 12||TBD vs. TBD||Nov. 25||10 p.m.||ESPN|
Tournament Ticket Information
The on-site Tournament Box Office at the Lahaina Civic Center opens Friday, Nov. 20 at 9 a.m. HST. It will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday through Sunday, 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) beginning on Friday, or online at www.mauiinvitational.com.