The Maui Invitational is one of the most important tournaments in college basketball and one of the true signs that the college basketball season has kicked off. It is an eight-team tournament with some of the most elite teams in the nation. The tournament kicks off on Monday, Nov. 20. This article will detail everything that you need to know about the tournament.
Teams playing in the Maui Invitational
Eight Division 1 men's basketball teams are invited every year to play in the Maui Classic. The tournament is usually held at Lahaina Civic Center in Lahaina, Maui. This year though, the tournament will be played at Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu, Hawaii, because of the wildfires that tore through Maui. The eight participants for the 2023 tournament were decided on April 1, 2022, and are as follows.
The Maui Invitational is typically held at Chaminade's stadium. That has only not been the case during 2020 and 2021, when the tournament was held in the US mainland because of COVID-19, and this year, because of the Maui wildfires. The tournament was unofficially started when Chaminade upset Virginia in 1982. Two years later, the tournament became an annual event. Chaminade played in the tournament every season from 1984-2017. Starting in 2018, it was decided they would play in it every other season, and that includes this year. They have 38 appearances in the tournament but they are only 8-95 overall because they typically lack the talent of the Power-Five schools. Chaminade did make it to the championship game the inaugural tournament, but they haven't been back since.
Gonzaga has lost a lot of the premier talent that made them so good over the last few seasons, but the team has some great replacements. Braden Huff is one of the best freshmen in college basketball, and Graham Ike has impressed since transferring from Wyoming. The Bulldogs are ranked 11th. Gonzaga won the Maui Invitational in 2009 and 2018.
Kansas is the number-one-ranked team in the nation. They scored 99 points in their first two games and most recently beat Kentucky, a fellow blue-blood program. The team acquired Hunter Dickinson, one of the biggest transfers in history, and he has lived up to the hype so far. The center is averaging 22 points and 12.3 rebounds per game. The Jayhawks' eight appearances are tied for the second most in Maui Invitational history. They won the tournament in 1996, 2015, and 2019.
The Big East is stacked this season, and it is Marquette – not the defending national champion UConn Huskies – who is the top team in the conference. Marquette is ranked fourth in the nation. They are led by Tyler Kolek and Kameron Jones. The guard duo forms one of the best backcourts and upperclassman duos in the nation. This is Marquette's fourth appearance in the tournament. They hold an 8-3 record overall.
Purdue is ranked second in the nation. They are, of course, led by Zach Edey, a Player of the Year favorite. Edey stands 7-foot 4 inches and dominates the painted area. He is surrounded by a number of role players who have helped with Purdue's early success. Purdue is 7-3 in their four Maui Invitational appearances.
Syracuse has had tons of success in the Maui Invitational. They have won the tournament in all three previous times playing in it. The first time was in 1990; then they won in 1998, and most recently in 2013. All of those seasons were under the leadership and strategies of Jim Boeheim, though. The legendary coach retired after last season, and Adrian Autry is the team's new head coach. He will look to continue the tradition of winning the tournament this year.
There are tons of nationally ranked teams in this year's Maui Invitational. Tennessee is another, as the Volunteers are ranked seventh. Dalton Knecht is the team's leading scorer with 19.7 points per game, but the squad has plenty of depth. Jordan Gainey and Santiago Vescovi are also standout players on the team. The Volunteers are making their fourth appearance in the tournament. They are only 4-7 all time.
UCLA is playing in the Maui Invitational for the seventh time. They hold an 11-10 record all time. Adem Bona is the team's best-returning player, and he has led the Bruins to an early 3-0 start.
Maui Invitational schedule/how to watch
The Maui Invitational will be broadcast exclusively on ESPN platforms. You can live stream the games using fuboTV. The tournament will be taking place over three straight days starting on Monday, Nov. 20. The fifth-place game that concludes the tournament, though, will technically be on Thursday, Nov. 23, because of the drastic time change from the lower 48 to Hawaii. That game will be at 12 a.m. ET on Thursday. The championship game is at 5 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Nov. 22.
*Watch the Maui Invitational live with fuboTV (click for a free trial)*
Monday, Nov. 20
Game 1: Syracuse vs. Tennessee – 2:30 p.m. ET – ESPN2
Game 2: Gonzaga vs. Purdue – 5 p.m. ET – ESPN2
Game 3: Kansas vs. Chaminade – 9 p.m. ET – ESPNU
Game 4: Marquette vs. UCLA – 11:30 p.m. ET – ESPN2
Tuesday, Nov. 21
Game 5: Loser of Game 1 vs. Loser of Game 2 – 2:30 p.m. ET – ESPN2
Game 6: Loser of Game 3 vs. Loser of Game 4 – 5 p.m. ET – ESPN2
Game 7: Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2 – 8 p.m. ET – ESPN
Game 8: Winner of Game 3 vs. Winner of Game 4 – 10:30 p.m. ET – ESPN
Wednesday, Nov. 22/Thursday, Nov. 23
Game 9: Third place game – 2:30 p.m. ET – ESPN2
Game 10: Championship game – 5 p.m. ET – ESPN
Game 11: Seventh place game – 9:30 p.m. ET – ESPNU
Game 12: Fifth place game – Thursday, Nov. 23 at 12 a.m. ET – ESPN2