VIDEO: Duke vs. Kansas for Maui Invitational Title
By Fred Guzman
[flashvideo file=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKEZCMlqxqU /] Two of the most storied programs in college basketball will square off on Wednesday in the 5 p.m. championship game of the EA Sports Maui Invitational Tournament.
The sixth-ranked Duke Blue Devils and the No. 15 Kansas Jayhawks advanced with semifinal victories on Tuesday before packed houses at the Lahaina Civic Center.
For Duke, Maui is filled with fond memories. The Blue Devils have never lost here, returning home with a trophy in each of their previous four visits – in 1992, 1997, 2001 and 2007.
Duke extended its run here to 14-0 with a decisive 82-75 victory over Michigan as freshman guard Austin River continued living up to the hype by scoring 20 points. Tim Hardaway Jr. was scoreless in the first half but scored 19 after intermission to help the Wolverines make things interesting for a while.
Kansas bolted out to a 20-point halftime lead against the uninspired UCLA. The Bruins came out of hibernation after intermission and closed the gap to just five points before the comeback fizzled and the Jayhawks pulled away for a 72-56 victory.. Elijah Elijah Johnson scored 23 points, Thomas Robinson had 15 points and 10 rebounds, and Tyshawn Taylor added 13 points and six assists for Kansas.
“I will bet the atmosphere for (Wednesday’s) game will be as good an atmosphere as this building’s seen for this tournament,” Kansas coach Bill Self said. “And this may be as good a neutral-court atmosphere as there is in college basketball, better than the NCAA tournament because you can feel the crowd.”
Michigan and UCLA will meet for third place at 2:30 p.m.
The best game of the tournament came in the consolation bracket, with No. 8 Memphis defeating Tennessee 99-97 in a double-overtime thriller. The best player on the court was Tennessee forward Jeronne Maymon, who who had 32 points, 20 rebounds and three steals.
Tennessee’s Barton brothers – Will and Antonio – scored 25 and 21, respectively.
Memphis and Georgetown will meet for fifth place at noon. The Hoyas dominated Chaminade 88-61 on Tuesday. Tennessee will seek to salvage a win from the trip when it faces the tournament host for seventh place at 9:30 a.m.
All games can be heard on ESPN 550 and espn550.com.