By Wendy Osher
The EA SPORTS Maui Invitational Hosted by Chaminade University today released the bracket for this year’s tournament. The bracket for the 28th edition of Basketball In Paradise includes a new format, that reflects the Tournament’s first expansion since 1986.
In addition to the traditional eight-team, three-day event played at the Lahaina Civic Center during Thanksgiving week, the tournament will also include opening and regional rounds earlier in the month.
“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,” said Odom.
With expansion comes four additional Division I teams known as the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational Mainland Teams. The list of Mainland teams includes: Belmont, Middle Tennessee State, Towson and UNCG.
The eight participating teams playing in the Championship Round are called the Island Teams and include: Duke, Georgetown, Kansas, Memphis, Michigan, Tennessee, UCLA and host Chaminade.
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 Mainland Teams will then play each other in the “Regional Games” – a four-game event that will be hosed by MTSU this year.
The tournament will conclude with the “Championship Round,” played November 21-23 on Maui at the Lahaina Civic Center featuring eight teams as it has in the past.
Opening Games: Nov. 11, 14-15, 2011
Prior to traveling to Maui for the Championship Round, each Island Team (excluding Chaminade) will host one home game against one Mainland Team. There will be seven Opening Games played at the Island Teams’ home arenas.
Regional Games: Nov. 19-20, 2011
After the Opening Games, the four Mainland Teams will play in a two-day, four-game event. The location of the Regional Games will change annually, but will be played at the MTSU Murphy Center this year.
Championship Round: Nov. 21-23, 2011
After the Opening Games and Regional Games, the Championship Round takes place November 21-23 at the Lahaina Civic Center on Maui. As it has in the past, the tournament will take place during the three days prior to Thanksgiving.
The reemaining tickets for the Championship Round, including school specific booster tickets, will be on sale to the general public beginning on Wednesday, August 24 at 3 p.m. EDT (9 a.m. HST) via mauiinvitational.com. (No phone orders, web site only)
Travel packages that include game tickets and hotel accommodations are currently available through Oahu Travel, the tournament’s official travel agency by calling (800) 826-3822.
For tickets for the Regional Games, visit goblueraiders.com or call 1.888.YES.MTSU.