Hawaii Events: EA Sports Maui Invitational

Travelers to Hawaii looking for the perfect spectator sport might be shocked to learn that there is no sun shining when the game starts. At least not inside.
Tipping off on November 21, 2011 is the annual EA Sports Maui Invitational. And while most locals and visitors will be on the sand and in the water, the basketball games inside the Lahaina Civic Center are sure to bring much excitement and keep those at the game on the edge of their seat. This year’s field features 4 ranked teams in the Associated Press Top 25, including the 6th ranked Duke Blue Devils, led by Coach Mike Krzyzewski, the all-time wins leader in NCAA history. Also making the trip to Maui this season is #10 Memphis University, #11 University of Kansas, and #17 University of Michigan. And as always, Honolulu’s Chaminade University completes the field. The yearly tournament is considered the premiere in-season college basketball tournament, but it’s the events of 1982 that we have to thank for bringing the best college basketball to the islands every year. On December 23, 1982, college hoops powerhouse University of Virginia (who happened to be ranked #1 in the country and was led by future #1 pick Ralph Sampson) traveled to Hawaii for a game against Chaminade University. What ensued is considered the greatest upset in the history of college basketball. The NAIA school from Honolulu defeated Virginia 77-72 in front of a sold-out crowd at Oahu’s Blaisdell Arena, many of whom came to watch the best team in the country. Following the game, Virginia head coach Terry Holland congratulated Chaminade’s Athletic Director Mike Vasconcellos and made the suggestion of bringing a national tournament to Hawaii. Two years later, the Maui Classic was born, since changing to the Maui Invitational, and gaining sponsorship from video game giant EA Sports. After completing your trek around Maui’s Road to Hana, a nice night of the highest level of college basketball may be in order. Games begin play in Maui on November 21st, and continue through November 23rd, and this brief tournament is one of the most anticipated Hawaii events. Tickets are on sale at the official site of the Maui Invitational. EA Sports Maui Invitational Participants: 6. DUKE 10. Memphis 11. Kansas 17. Michigan Tennessee UCLA Chaminade Georgetown University North Carolina-Greensboro (Mainland Games Only) Towson University (Mainland Games Only) Middle Tennessee State (Mainland Games Only) Belmont University (Mainland Games Only)

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