Oct. 14, 2010
MAUI, Hawaii - The EA SPORTS Maui Invitational Hosted by Chaminade University today announced that starting in 2011 the tournament will expand from eight to 12 teams with the addition of four Division I institutions. The total number of tournament games will also expand from 12 games currently played on the island of Maui to a total of 23 games, which include 11 games played on the U.S. mainland.
Starting in 2011, the tournament will be played in three parts:
1. Opening Games:
a. Seven games between seven Maui-bound teams and four mainland teams.
b. These games will be played at the Maui-bound teams' home arenas from Friday, Nov. 11 through Thursday, Nov. 17, 2011
2. Regional Games:
a. Four games played between four mainland teams
b. These games will be played at a mainland team's home arena from Saturday, Nov. 19 to Sunday, Nov. 20, 2011
3. Championship Round:
a. The current eight-team, three-day bracket event
b. These games will be played on Maui from Monday, Nov. 21 to Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2011.
The EA SPORTS Maui Invitational has not expanded its field since 1986, when the tournament grew from four to eight teams. Today's expansion to 12 teams underscores the tournament's position as the nation's premier early-season college basketball tournament.
"We are excited for the growth and expansion of the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational," Tournament Chairman Dave Odom said. "More teams from more conferences will now have a chance to show their best among the nation's top teams in the premier early-season tournament."
2011 Tournament Field
In conjunction with tournament expansion, the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational also announced the eight teams that will be bound for the 2011 tournament championship round at Maui's famed Lahaina Civic Center during Thanksgiving Week next year. Of the seven Division I institutions, there are a combined 20 NCAA National Championships and seven EA SPORTS Maui Invitational championships. The field also consists of three of the top eight winningest Division I men's basketball programs (Duke, Kansas, UCLA). Along with the perennial tournament host school Chaminade University of Honolulu, the 2011 teams include: Duke, Georgetown, Kansas, Memphis, Michigan, Tennessee and UCLA. The four newly-added Division I mainland tournament teams will be announced at a later date.
"The 2011 field has the potential to be the best field in tournament history," Odom said. "The combination of rich basketball tradition and recent success should make for incredible competition."
Duke,the 2010 Division I National Champion, returns to the island of Maui for a fifth time. The Blue Devils have a perfect 12-0 record in Maui under head coach Mike Krzyzewski and took home the 2007, 2001, 1997 and 1992 crowns. The Blue Devils are expected to start the season at the top of most polls.
Georgetown (1-2 in Maui) makes its second trip to the island after finishing fourth in 1999. The Hoyas finished 23-11 last year under head coach John Thompson III, who led Georgetown to back-to-back Big East regular season titles in 2007 and 2008.
Kansas (7-5), like Duke is heading back to Maui for the fifth time and is looking for its first Maui title since 1996 when center Raef Lafrentz won MVP. The Jayhawks lost three starters to the 2010 NBA Draft, but head coach Bill Self and his team should contend for the Big 12 title in 2011.
Memphis (6-6) also returns to Maui for a fifth time after finishing third in 2006 and 1992. Led by head coach Josh Pastner, the Tigers finished 24-10 last year and looks to return to the NCAA Tournament after playing in the NIT last year.
Michigan (8-3) lands in Maui for the fifth time and will look for its second title (1988). Head coach John Beilein will try to get his team to the NCAA Tournament for the second time in his four years at the helm. The Wolverines played in the second-ever Maui Invitational in 1985 when the field consisted of just four teams.
Tennessee (1-2) makes its second appearance at the Lahaina Civic Center. The Volunteers finished fourth in 2004 and look to capitalize on last year's magical run to the Elite Eight behind head coach Bruce Pearl, who has reached the NCAA Tournament in each of his five seasons at Tennessee.
UCLA (6-3), the 2006 Maui champ, will visit the island for a fourth time. Head coach Ben Howland and the Bruins are looking to return to the NCAA Tournament where they made three straight Final Fours from 2006 - 2008.
Host Chaminade, under the tutelage of head coach Matt Mahar, looks for its first Maui win since upsetting Princeton in the 2007 tournament. Mahar has led the Silverswords to the 2006 and 2008 Pac West Championships.
In addition to title sponsor EA SPORTS, other current tournament sponsors include the Maui Visitors Bureau, County of Maui Department of Parks and Recreation, Hawaii Tourism Authority, adidas and GEICO. The Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa, Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa and Westin Maui Resort & Spa, all located in the beautiful Ka'anapali Beach Resort area, serve as host hotels for the thousands of fans and boosters who annually accompany their teams to Maui. KemperSports/KemperLesnik has operated the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational since 1990.
For complete Tournament information, visit the official Tournament Web site by clicking here or to inquire about travel packages contact Oahu Travel, the official travel agent of the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational, at 800-826-3822. Follow the tournament on Twitter at @EASPORTSMauiInv and find us on Facebook for up-to-the-minute Tournament news.