The EA SPORTS™ Maui Invitational® Hosted by Chaminade University announced the bracket for the 28th edition of Basketball In Paradise® Thursday. Tennessee is slated to face Duke on Monday, Nov. 21. Pending the outcome of that day’s games, the Volunteers will be matched up with either Memphis or Michigan on Tuesday, Nov. 22. All eight teams also will play a third game on Wednesday, Nov. 23.
The EA SPORTS Maui Invitational has put together arguably its most challenging field ever in 2011. The opposite side of the bracket features perennial host school Chaminade playing UCLA on the opening day of the “Championship Round,” while Georgetown squares off against Kansas.
This year’s bracket also includes a new format, which reflects the tournament’s first expansion since 1986.
“We are excited to kickoff the expansion with such stellar matchups,” tournament chairman David Odom said. “Expanding the tournament provides more student-athletes, schools and conferences the chance to show their best at the premier early-season college basketball tournament.”
The bracket format includes the traditional eight-team, three-day event played at Maui’s oceanfront Lahaina Civic Center during Thanksgiving week, which will now be known as the EA SPORTS Maui
Invitational Championship Round, and the eight participating teams playing in the Championship Round are called the “Island Teams.”
With expansion comes four additional Division I teams known as the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational “Mainland Teams.” Each of the eight Island Teams (excluding Chaminade) will play one game
against a Mainland Team – seven games in total – before traveling to Maui for the Championship Round. The four Mainland Teams are Belmont, Middle Tennessee, UNC Greensboro and Towson.
The Mainland Teams conclude their participation in the tournament by playing each other in the “Regional Games” – a four-game event at Middle Tennessee’s Murphy Center Nov. 19-20.
Tennessee’s mainland opponent is UNC Greensboro, and that game takes place Friday, Nov. 11 at Thompson-Boling Arena. Tipoff time and television coverage for that contest have yet to be determined.
The Nov. 21 clash with the Blue Devils serves as a tiebreaker of sorts for both programs, as the all-time series is deadlocked at 7-7, dating to the first meeting 100 years ago (Duke defeated the Vols 48-25 in Durham on Feb. 20, 1911). The programs have not met since UT posted a 90-69 win at the Sugar Bowl Classic in New Orleans, La., on Dec. 29, 1980.
The Volunteers previously competed in the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational in 2004, finishing fourth at the event after defeating Stanford and falling to North Carolina and Texas.
First-year Tennessee head coach Cuonzo Martin has experience at the Maui Invitational, as Purdue joined the field in 2006. The Boilermakers – with Martin on the bench just months before being promoted to associate head coach – fell to Georgia Tech before logging wins over Oklahoma and DePaul to turn in a fifth-place finish.
The ESPN family of networks will combine once again to offer live television coverage of all 12 Championship Round games. For the third straight year, every game will be produced in high definition on ESPNHD, ESPN2 HD and ESPNU HD, with the ESPN and ESPN2 games also streaming live on ESPN3.com.
For complete tournament details, visit www.mauiinvitational.com.
VOLS OFFER MAUI TRAVEL PACKAGE
Tennessee has partnered with All Seasons Travel to offer a four-night travel package, which includes roundtrip airfare from Atlanta to Maui, to coincide with the Volunteers' participation in the 2011 EA SPORTS Maui Invitational Nov. 20-25. Accommodations are at The Westin Maui Resort & Spa, which is Tennessee's team hotel.
Also included in the travel package are tickets to Tennessee's three tournament games at the Lahaina Civic Center.
Fans who take advantage of this opportunity also will receive a traditional flower lei greeting upon arrival, airport porterage on arrival and departure, roundtrip transfers from the Kahului, Maui Airport to The Westin, coverage of all hotel taxes and fees, a meal with the Tennessee team and roundtrip shuttle transfers from The Westin to the Lahaina Civic Center.