The Maui Invitational is one of the premiere early-season basketball tournaments because it consistently attracts so many high-quality, big-name teams. This year, for example, Michigan State, Kentucky, Oklahoma and UConn are some of the teams playing in the Maui Invitational.â†µ
Next year, the tournament is going to expand by adding four more teams, which will be involved in mainland games. Michigan has been slated to play in the 2011 Maui Invitational for some time now, and it appears the already tough field could get even tougher with four more teams. In addition to Michigan, here are the teams slated to play in the tournament right now: Duke, Georgetown, Kansas, Memphis, Tennessee, UCLA and Chaminade (host school).â†µ
Under the new setup, there will be seven opening games between the seven teams headed to Maui and the four mainland teams. These games will take place at arenas of the Maui-bound teams from Nov. 11 to Nov. 17. The next stage of the tournament involves the regional games. There will be four games between the mainland teams from Nov. 19 to Nov. 20. Finally, the championship round will be based on the current setup. The eight teams in Maui will play games from Nov. 21 to Nov. 23 to determine a champion of the tournament.â†µ
The Maui Invitational serves as a great tune-up for the season with so many tough teams in the field. As a Michigan fan, though, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a bit worried about so many tough teams being in the tournament. Unless the Wolverines improve greatly from 2010 to 2011, it could be a long few days in Maui next year for Michigan. Then again, it will be a great chance to gain experience for the team no matter what happens, plus it will give the Wolverines' program some national exposure.