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Five Maui Invitational teams in NCAA tournament

March 13, 2012 - Robert Collias
This well-written press release landed in my in-box yesterday about the loaded field in the 2011 EA Sports Maui Invitational field and their participation in the NCAA Tournament (five of them made it, six by their count with the off-island "Maui Invitational" games played on the Mainland that included Belmont; Tennessee is in the NIT; UCLA is the only Maui team that is not in any postseason tournament):

MAUI, Hawaii, March 12, 2012 – The EA SPORTSTM Maui Invitational® Hosted by Chaminade University furthered its reputation as a barometer for postseason success as six teams from the Tournament’s 2011 field received bids to the 2012 NCAA Tournament.

2011 Maui Teams in 2012 NCAA Tournament

•Kansas – No. 2, Midwest

•Duke – No. 2, South

•Georgetown – No. 3, Midwest

•Michigan – No. 4, Midwest

•Memphis – No. 8, West

•Belmont – No. 14, Midwest (didn't play on Maui)

Note: No. 3 Georgetown will play No. 14 Belmont on Friday at 9:10 a.m. HST in Columbus, Ohio. The game will be broadcast on tru TV.

Duke and Kansas played in the 2011 EA SPORTS Maui Invitational Championship Game and the Blue Devils won 68-61.

Maui All-Tournament Team Playing in 2012 NCAA Tournament:

•Thomas Robinson (Kansas): Big 12 Player of the Year

•Jason Clark (Georgetown): All-Big East First Team and Sportsmanship Award

•Austin Rivers (Duke): All-ACC First Team and ACC Freshman of the Year

•Tim Hardaway Jr. (Michigan): All-Big Ten Third Team

•Ryan Kelly (Duke): EA SPORTS Maui Invitational MVP

Coaches on the benefit of playing in the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational

Memphis coach Josh Pastner: "There are only positives starting a season in the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational. It proved a good sign this year as over half of the Island Teams made the NCAA Tournament. Every team's goal is to win the Maui title, but what you learn about your team from playing the Maui's top- level competition helps prepare you for the remainder of the season."

Belmont coach Rick Byrd: “Playing the highest level of competition in the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational made us a better basketball team. We opened with two great programs on the road in Duke and Memphis, then were fortunate to win the Regional Games with a win over an outstanding MTSU team. I feel sure that we are more prepared for our NCAA matchup because of our four games in the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational.”

Maui Leads to NCAA Tournament Success Over the years, four teams have won the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational and the NCAA Tournament in the same season: Connecticut: 2010 Maui / 2011 NCAA North Carolina: 2008 Maui / 2009 NCAA North Carolina: 2004 Maui /2005 NCAA Michigan: 1988 Maui /1989 NCAA

In 2011, Connecticut became the first team to win the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational, its conference tournament and the NCAA Tournament all in the same season.

The 29th annual EA SPORTS Maui Invitational will launch the 2012-13 college basketball season with another stellar field. The Championship Round includes Island Teams Butler, Illinois, Marquette, Mississippi State, North Carolina, Texas, USC and host Chaminade. The Championship Round will be played fewer than 1,000 yards from the Pacific Ocean at Maui’s Lahaina Civic Center from Nov. 19-21. Three 2012 Island Teams are playing in the 2012 NCAA Tournament: North Carolina (No. 1, Midwest); Marquette (No. 3, West) and Texas (No. 11, East).

The recently announced 2013 Island Teams are Arkansas, Baylor, California, Dayton, Gonzaga, Minnesota, Syracuse and host Chaminade for the 30th edition of the nation’s premier early- season college basketball tournament. Four 2013 Island Teams are in the 2012 NCAA Tournament: Syracuse (No.1, East); Baylor (No. 3, South); Gonzaga (No. 7, East); California (No. 12, Midwest)

A note from us: the 2013 field was on a banner at the Lahaina Civic Center at the 2011 tournament in November and we noted it then.

 
 

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