Michigan State, Kansas could square off in Maui Invitational final | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Tuesday / September 17.
  • Michigan State, Kansas could square off in Maui Invitational final

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    Michigan State and Kansas, the top two teams in some preseason polls, are on opposite sides of the bracket in the Maui Invitational and could meet in the championship game.

    The 36th edition of the event will take place Nov. 25-27 at the Lahaina Civic Center on the island of Maui

    Monday’s matchups will feature Georgia squaring off against Dayton, and Virginia Tech taking on Michigan State in the top half of the bracket. In the bottom half of the bracket, Kansas will face Chaminade and BYU will go head-to-head against UCLA.

    All 12 Championship Round games of the Maui Jim Maui Invitational will be televised on either ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU, and streamed on ESPN3.

    “It’s another great year for the Maui Jim Maui Invitational, with several teams expected to have big seasons ahead of them,” said Tournament Chairman David Odom. “This field features a spread of young and experienced talent – both from the players and the coaches. We’re looking forward to seeing who will take home the Wayne Duke Championship Trophy in the unbeatable atmosphere that is the Lahaina Civic Center this November.”

    Combined, the teams in the 2019 Maui Jim Maui Invitational field own 196 NCAA Tournament berths, including 44 Final Four appearances and 16 National Championships. Accompanied by Tournament newcomer Georgia, the seven returning programs will come to Maui with a combined five Tournament championships. BYU, Michigan State and Kansas are among the top 20 winningest programs in the nation since the start of the 2009-10 season. Michigan State enters the 2019 Tournament coming off a trip to the Final Four last season.

    The field will feature three coaches with Final Four appearances to their names — Kansas’ Bill Self, Michigan State’s Tom Izzo and Georgia’s Tom Crean — as well as three coaches who will take over new programs after successful 2018-2019 campaigns. These include Mick Cronin at UCLA (from Cincinnati), Mike Young at Virginia Tech (from Wofford) and Mark Pope at BYU (from Utah Valley). Izzo and Self have each been honored as AP Coach of the Year.

    Over the years, the Tournament has proven to be a key ingredient in a team’s success late into the season. Since the Tournament’s inception, 128 teams that have started the season in Maui have gone on to compete in the NCAA Tournament, with 49 teams having advanced to the Sweet 16. In each of the last nine seasons, one or more teams who have competed in Maui have gone on to reach at least the Elite Eight.

    Photo: Kansan.com

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.