Maui Invitational Bracket Set

UCLA headlines the line-up of the EA Maui Invitational this November, a field that includes Kentucky, Georgia Tech, Oklahoma, Purdue, DePaul and Chaminade.

Official Release:

MAUI, Hawaii, Aug. 3, 2006 – KemperSports, the Northbrook, Ill.-based sports marketing and events firm which has operated the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational since 1990, today announced the official bracket for the 2006 edition of the nation's premier early-season college basketball tournament. In its 23rd year, the highly anticipated eight-team, season-opening event takes centerstage at Maui's Lahaina Civic Center, located less than 1,000 yards from the Pacific Ocean. 

Seven NCAA Division I teams will join Division II host Chaminade University Nov. 20-22 to launch the college hoops season and vie for the venerable Maui crown – and the opportunity to join a distinguished lineup of past Maui champions which most recently includes Connecticut (2005), North Carolina (2004), Dayton (2003), Indiana (2002), Duke (2001) and Arizona (2000).

For the second consecutive year, ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPNU, the 24-hour college sports network that debuted in 2005, will combine to offer live television coverage of all 12 tournament games.

Among the matchups for this year's tournament:  Game One showcases Big 12 force and 1988 Maui runner-up, Oklahoma, under new head coach Jeff Capel, taking on 2006 Elite Eight contender and three-time Maui participant, Memphis, piloted by coach John Calipari in his first trip to the November competition. The winner of this tournament opener will tackle the winner of Game Two, in which head coach Matt Painter's Big Ten squad
and 1999 Maui runner-up, Purdue, faces ACC power and the lone team to debut in Maui, Georgia Tech, steered by coach Paul Hewitt.


Game Three features BIG EAST member and three-time Maui participant, DePaul, led by coach Jerry Wainwright, dueling with coach Tubby Smith's Kentucky, a seven-time NCAA champion with an overall Maui record of 7-2, including a trip to the winner's circle in 1993. That winner will tip-off against the winner of Game Four, where host Chaminade, featuring second-year coach Matt Mahar, battles 11-time national champion and 2006 NCAA runner-up, UCLA, a Pac-10 team under Ben Howland that returns to the island with major plans to improve on its 3-3 record.

At a glance, the 2006 EA SPORTS Maui Invitational features a duo – one that could potentially square off in a second-round game – that leads the nation in number of NCAA titles:  UCLA blazes the trail with a record 11 national championships, while Kentucky, college basketball's all-time winningest program, is close behind with seven national titles; former national runners-up Georgia Tech, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Purdue and UCLA; four
2006 NCAA tournament participants (Kentucky, Memphis, Oklahoma, UCLA); and 2006 national runner-up UCLA and Elite Eight contender Memphis.

"We've carried the momentum of an unforgettable 2005 event right into this year," said Tournament Chairman Dave Gavitt. "This tournament promises to set the stage for the 2006-07 college basketball season with play from an assembly of decorated teams, including a pair in UCLA and Kentucky that collectively boasts 18 NCAA titles."

Remaining school Booster Tickets and Monday Single Game Tickets will go on sale to the general public on Wednesday, Aug. 16 at 9 a.m. Hawaii time (2 p.m. Eastern time) via the official tournament Web site at http://www.mauiinvitational.com, and through Oahu Travel, the official tournament travel agency at 800.826.3822.
In addition, tickets for the tournament's Tip-Off Banquet and space for the 3rd Annual EA SPORTS Maui Golf Invitational are available. Visit the Web site's "Tickets & Travel" section for more information.

EA SPORTS, the world's leading interactive entertainment software company, earlier this year extended its title sponsorship of the Maui Invitational through 2007, advancing a relationship that first began in 2001.


Other tournament sponsors include the Maui Visitors Bureau, County of Maui Department of Parks and Recreation and Hawaii Tourism Authority. The Westin Maui Resort & Spa, Sheraton Maui Resort and Hyatt Regency Resort & Spa, all from the beautiful Ka'anapali Beach resort area, serve as host hotels for the thousands of boosters who annually accompany their teams to Maui.

For up-to-the-minute tournament schedule, ticket and general information, visit the official EA SPORTS Maui Invitational Web site at http://www.mauiinvitational.com.


Maui Invitational Bracket

Bruin Report Online Top Stories