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Four Maui Invitational teams in NCAA Tournament field

March 17, 2013 - Robert Collias
This press release just landed in my in-box.

I have left out some of the promotional stuff and added my own notes at the bottom. It should also be noted that the numbers of NCAA champions and runners-up includes all of the MI teams from the past 29 years — except where noted that teams have won the NCAAs in the same season as winning the MI.

Here is a look at how things went back during Thanksgiving week.

Also this thought: The Big East Conference has ceased to exist as we knew it after it was the dream of its first commissioner Dave Gavitt, but the MI that he once was tournament director of endures and thrives — he was the embodiment of Basketball Hall of Famer.

The release from KemperLesnik:

EA SPORTS Maui Invitational Teams Earn Postseason NCAA Tournament Bids

Maui teams head to The Big Dance including 2012 EA SPORTS Maui Invitational Champion Illinois and runner-up Butler, as well as 2013 Maui team and current AP No. 1 Gonzaga

MAUI, Hawaii, March 17, 2013 – The EA SPORTS® Maui Invitational Hosted by Chaminade University furthered its reputation as the premier early-season tournament that proves to be a barometer for postseason success as five of the 2012 Maui-teams along with four of the 2013 Maui-teams received bids to the 2013 NCAA Tournament.

· 2012 Maui teams: Butler, Illinois, Marquette and North Carolina; Chaminade received a bid for the Division II NCAA Tournament.

· 2013 Maui teams: California, Gonzaga, Minnesota and Syracuse.

“Over the years, teams who have competed in the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational have consistently taken a bit of ‘Maui Magic’ with them into NCAA Tournament play,” said Dave Odom, tournament chairman for the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational. “Congratulations to the schools who have qualified for the 2013 NCAA Tournament – we wish you the best of luck.”

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 have won the NCAA Championship 63 of the last 74 years, and have also been the runner-up 61 of those 74 games. In addition, of the 296 teams that have made it to the Final Four, EA SPORTS Maui Invitational participating schools represent 84% of them (247).

“Playing in Maui was not only a great experience, but really provided a launching pad for our team this season,” said Brad Stevens, head coach, Butler University. “Winning against Marquette and North Carolina, before eventually falling to Illinois in the title game, gave us a level of belief that we needed to attack the rest of our schedule.” (Butler and Illinois played in the 2012 EA SPORTS Maui Invitational Championship Game with the Illinois Fighting Illini winning 78-61)

2012/2013 Maui Teams in 2013 NCAA Tournament

· North Carolina (#8, South region)

o Five NCAA Championship titles, 44 NCAA Tournament appearances, 36 league titles, and three EA SPORTS Maui Invitational titles (1999, 2004, 2008) in five overall appearances.

· Illinois (#7, East region)

o 30 NCAA Tournament appearances (including five Final Fours) and 17 league titles and one EA SPORTS Maui Invitational title (2012) in four overall appearances.

· Butler (#6, East region)

o 12 NCAA Tournament appearances (including consecutive Championship game appearances in 2010 and 2011), 18 league titles and one EA SPORTS Maui Invitational runner-up (2012) in the school’s only appearance.

· Marquette (#3, East region)

o One NCAA Championship title, 31 NCAA Tournament appearances, three league titles and two EA SPORTS Maui Invitational appearances.

· Syracuse (#4, East region)

o One NCAA Championship title, 26 NCAA Tournament appearances, eight league titles and two EA SPORTS Maui Invitational titles (1990, 1998) in two overall appearances.

· Gonzaga (#1, West region)

o 16 NCAA Tournament appearances, 16 league titles and one EA SPORTS Maui Invitational title (2009) in three overall appearances.

· Minnesota (#11, South region)

o 12 NCAA Tournament appearances, 10 league titles and one EA SPORTS Maui Invitational appearance.

· California (#12, East region)

o One NCAA Championship title, 18 NCAA Tournament appearances, 16 league titles and one EA SPORTS Maui Invitational appearance.

· Chaminade (#8, West region NCAA Division II tourney)

o Chaminade finished the 2012-2013 regular season with a 19-10 record and earned a berth into the 2013 Division II Basketball Championship. The Silverswords were defeated 93-83 in the first round by defending Division II National Champion and No. 1 seed Western Washington on Friday.

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 (Big East) and the NCAA Tournament all in the same season. Huskies Senior Kemba Walker was named MVP of the 2010 EA SPORTS Maui Invitational and MVP of the 2011 NCAA Tournament.

2012 Maui All-Tournament Team Playing in 2013 NCAA Tournament

· Rotnei Clarke – Butler

o Atlantic 10 First Team All-Conference

o Maui stats: averaged 21 points per game; 14-33 from the three-point line

· D.J. Richardson – Illinois

o 2012-13 Big Ten third team (coaches poll)

o Maui stats: averaged 12 points and 5 rebounds per game

· Brandon Paul – Illinois

o 2012-13 Big Ten third team (media poll and coaches poll)

o Maui Stats: EA SPORTS Maui Invitational MVP; averaged 19 points and 3 assists per game

· Vander Blue – Marquette

o 2012-13 All-BIG EAST second team

o Maui stats: averaged 15 points per game

· Reggie Bullock – North Carolina

o 2012-13 All-ACC second team

o Maui stats: averaged 15 points, 4 assists and 4 rebounds per game

The 30th annual EA SPORTS Maui Invitational will launch the 2013-14 college basketball season with another stellar field including three previous Maui champions, Syracuse (1990, 1998), Gonzaga (2009) and Dayton (2003) along with established basketball schools Arkansas, Baylor, California, Minnesota, 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. 25-27.

It has to be noted that the 2012 Maui Invitational teams did not light things up this season as they often do. Illinois won the Maui title on the way to a 12-0 start, but at one point were on the outside looking in to the NCAA field before a strong finish. North Carolina lost 10 games. Butler beat No. 1 seed Gonzaga in an epic game in January, but struggled a bit after that. It might be Marquette that had the best season after Maui.

The overall seed list has Marquette 12th, Butler 22nd, Illinois 28th and North Carolina 29th.

Of the other three teams on Maui back in November, Mississippi State finished 10-22, Texas finished 16-17, and USC finished 14-18 and coach Kevin O'Neill was fired on Jan. 14.


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