Maui Invitational Tournament
The Maui Invitational, currently known as the Maui Jim Maui Invitational, is an annual early-season college basketball tournament that takes place Thanksgiving Week in Lahaina, Hawaii, at the Lahaina Civic Center on the island of Maui. It is hosted by Chaminade University of Honolulu, an NCAA Division II school. Seven NCAA Division I men's basketball teams are invited to Maui to complete the field. The Maui Invitational has been played since 1984, is carried by ESPN. Maui Jim became the title sponsor of the tournament in 2015; the previous fourteen tournaments sponsored by EA Sports.
|Current season, competition or edition:|
2019 Maui Invitational Tournament
Logo of the Maui Jim Maui Invitational
|No. of teams||12|
|Venue(s)||Campus Sites (Opening & Regional Games)|
Lahaina Civic Center
Maui, Hawaii (Championship Round)
|Most titles||Duke Blue Devils (5)|
The tournament had its roots in a game that is considered one of the greatest upsets in college history. On December 23, 1982 the top-ranked and undefeated University of Virginia made a scheduled trip to Honolulu for a game. Originally seeking to play the University of Hawaii, Virginia agreed to play Chaminade, which at the time belonged to the NAIA, on the trip instead. In a game that was not televised and only covered by one sportswriter from outside the local media (Michael Wilbon of The Washington Post, who was in Honolulu to cover the University of Maryland's performance in the inaugural Aloha Bowl), Chaminade defeated the Ralph Sampson-led Virginia squad 77–72 in front of 3,300 spectators at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center. Shortly after the upset, Virginia head coach Terry Holland congratulated Chaminade's athletic director, Mike Vasconcellos, and suggested to him that he consider beginning a Hawaii tournament. Two years later, the Maui Classic was inaugurated with Chaminade reaching the finals and losing to Providence.
Today the tournament provides schools an opportunity to compete on a neutral court with some of the top basketball programs in the country. Associated Press college basketball editor Jim O'Connell called the Maui Invitational "the best in-season tournament in the country – the standard by which all others are compared." Some 108 schools representing 26 conferences and 40 states have competed in the Invitational. Five times the winner has gone on to win the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship later that season: Michigan in 1988, North Carolina three times—in 2004, 2008, and 2016, and Connecticut in 2010.
Of the eight teams which play in the tournament, generally there is one from each of the six major conferences (the Pac-12, Big Ten, Big 12, Big East (before its 2013 split), ACC, and the SEC), one from another conference such as the American Athletic Conference, Conference USA, the Mountain West Conference or the Atlantic 10, and Chaminade. Beginning with the 2011 tournament, the field includes four additional mainland teams that play the Maui-bound teams at home. The four mainland teams will then play each other in regional games. The winner from each game will square off in the championship contest, preceded by the consolation game between the losers.
Beginning in 2018 and continuing with every even-numbered year, Chaminade will play games on the mainland, and eight Division I schools will compete in the championship bracket on Maui. In odd-numbered years, Chaminade will compete in the championship bracket. 
Effect on local economyEdit
Each year more than 4,000 out-of state visitors—boosters, players, officials, team and game personnel, media representatives, sponsors, production crews and basketball fans in general—attend. The 2007 Maui Invitational Tournament ranked among Hawaii's top revenue-generating events, bolstering the local economy by more than $8 million according to financial data released by the Maui Visitors Bureau. The tournament has brought more than $110 million to Maui's economy since the tournament's debut in 1984 (through 2005).
Yearly champions, runners-up, and MVPsEdit
Championships by teamEdit
|Duke||5||1992, 1997, 2001, 2007, 2011|
|North Carolina||4||1999, 2004, 2008, 2016|
|Syracuse||3||1990, 1998, 2013|
Future tournament fieldsEdit
- Eleni Gill, Lorin. "Maui Jim is title sponsor of Maui Invitational basketball tournament". bizjournals.com. American City Business Journals. Retrieved March 12, 2015.
- Wolff, Alexander (December 24, 2007). "The Greatest Upset Never Seen". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved November 22, 2011.
- "Maui Invitational". ESPN. Retrieved 26 Nov 2012.
- "EA SPORTS Maui Invitational". Kemper Sports. Retrieved 26 Nov 2012.
- "Men's basketball to participate in Maui Invitational; Blue Raiders will host inaugural Maui Regional Games". BRAA and Middle Tennessee Athletic Communications. August 4, 2011. Retrieved November 22, 2011.
- "2018 TOURNAMENT FEATURES STRONGEST FIELD IN HISTORY". Maui Invitational. October 26, 2016. Retrieved September 16, 2017.
- Boylan, Peter. "Maui welcomes basketball fans". The Honolulu Advertiser. Retrieved 26 Nov 2012.
- "Kansas, Michigan State and UCLA head strong 2019 Maui Invitational". March 27, 2018.
- "2020 Maui Invitational teams announced". April 4, 2019.