Nov. 19, 2008
MAUI, Hawai'i - The EA SPORTS Maui Invitational today announced that the University of Washington will be among the eight-team field that will battle at Maui's famed Lahaina Civic Center during Thanksgiving Week in 2010. Connecticut, Kentucky, Michigan State, Oklahoma, Virginia, Wichita State and host Chaminade University of Honolulu are the the remaining scheduled teams for the 27th edition of the nation's premier early-season college basketball tournament.
Connecticut, the 2005 tournament champion, currently ranked No. 2 in the 2008 USA TODAY/ESPN Top 25 Preseason Coaches' Poll, will return for its third Maui appearance. Kentucky, a seven-time NCAA champion, currently the winningest team in the history of college basketball both in all-time wins and all-time winning percentage, will return to Maui with an 8-4 all-time stat including a trip to the winner's circle in 1993. Michigan State, the 1991 Maui champion with a 6-3 tournament record, was a part of one of the greatest games in tournament history when, in a 2005 semi-final contest, the Spartans faced off against Gonzaga and Adam Morrison, who holds a tournament record of 43 points from that game. Oklahoma, currently ranked No. 1 in this year's BIG 12 preseason poll, holds a 5-4 Maui record with its last appearance in 2006. ACC team Virginia returns for its fourth tournament appearance with a 5-3 overall record. The 1982 upset between then-ranked No. 1 Virginia and host school Chaminade University paved the way for the creation of the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational. 2006 NCAA Sweet Sixteen team, Washington, will make its Maui debut in 2010 along with fellow Maui newcomer Wichita State who last played in the NCAA Tournament in 2006, when they upset second-seeded Tennessee to reach the Sweet Sixteen.
82 schools representing 21 conferences and 37 states have competed in the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational. Maui participants have won an astounding 54 of 70 NCAA championships, 54 of 70 national runner-up spots and comprise 210 of 280 Final Four teams.
Luckily college hoops fans need not wait until 2010 as the tournament is about to kick-off its 25th year Nov. 24-26 at Maui's Lahaina Civic Center. The 2008 marquee lineup includes North Carolina, Texas, Notre Dame, Indiana, Oregon, Saint Joseph's, Alabama and host Chaminade. As always, the action unfolds less than 1,000 yards from the Pacific Ocean, with ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPNU combining to offer live television coverage of all 12 tournament games.
EA SPORTSTM, the world's leading interactive entertainment software company and developer of the top-selling NCAA Basketball 09 videogame, enters its eighth year as title sponsor of the tournament.
For a variety of tournament information as well as details regarding 2008 tickets to the 25th Annual EA SPORTS Maui Invitational and travel packages, visit the official tournament Web site at www.mauiinvitational.com or contact Oahu Travel, the official tournament travel agent, at 800.826.3822.
KemperSports Marketing & Communications, an affiliate of Northbrook, Ill.-based KemperSports, is a sports marketing, events and public relations agency, which has produced and managed major national and international events and communications programs, including the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational college basketball tournament, numerous PGA TOUR events and The Art of Food & Wine Palm Desert. For more information, visit www.kempersports.com.
About Our Sponsors
Other tournament sponsors include the Maui Visitors Bureau, County of Maui Department of Parks and Recreation, Hawaii Tourism Authority, adidas, GEICO and Gatorade. The Westin Maui Resort & Spa, Sheraton Maui Resort and Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa, all located in the beautiful Ka'anapali Beach resort area, serve as host hotels for the thousands of fans and boosters who annually accompany their teams to Maui. KemperSports has operated the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational since 1990.