Bracket Set for 2006 EA SPORTS Maui Invitational
Aug. 3, 2006
The UCLA Bruins will face host Chaminade in the first round of the 2006 EA Sports Maui Invitational as announced by KemperSports, the Northbrook, Ill.-based sports marketing and events firm which has operated the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational since 1990.
Scheduled for Monday, November 20, the Bruins and Silverswords tip-off at 8:30 p.m. PT on ESPN2 with the winner set to take on the winner of the game between Kentucky and DePaul.
'We are excited about being in the Maui Invitational,' said Bruin head coach Ben Howland. 'It is one of the premier tournaments in the country year in and year out. This year's field is a lot like last year's with a lot of great teams and oustanding coaches, which should make for an exciting tournament.'
The Bruins have never faced Chaminade. The Division II hosts haven't fared well in their own tournament, sporting an overall record of 4-61 in the 22 previous tournaments. The Silverswords have lost 38 of their last 39 games against D-I opposition in the Maui Invitational, but snapped a 30-game losing streak by stunning Villanova 52-49 on Nov. 24, 2003.
UCLA has posted an all-time record of 3-3 in the Maui Invitational, including a third-place finish in its last appearance during the 2001-02 season when the team posted a 2-1 record.
In its 23rd year, the highly anticipated eight-team, season-opening event takes centerstage Nov. 20-22 at Maui's Lahaina Civic Center, located less than 1,000 yards from the Pacific Ocean. The eight teams look 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.
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 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.
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