MAUI, HAWAII - The Maui Jim Maui Invitational today announced its 2015 Championship Round bracket. The bracket sets up a potential championship game pitting two preseason top-10 teams and semifinal contests featuring four of the winningest teams in NCAA history. The 32nd edition of the nation's premier early-season college basketball tournament will be held Nov. 23-25 at the Lahaina Civic Center in Maui, Hawaii.
The Championship Round will feature Indiana, Kansas, St. John's, UCLA, UNLV, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest and host Chaminade. With teams originating from all parts of the country, the Maui Jim Maui Invitational will draw a national audience. All 12 Championship Round games of the Maui Jim Maui Invitational will be televised by the ESPN family of networks. Matchups on Nov. 23 include:
The teams of the Championship Round have combined to win 20 national championships, 11 from NCAA leader UCLA, 47 trips to the Final Four and 215 NCAA Tournament berths. Indiana, Kansas, St. John's, UCLA appeared in the 2015 NCAA Tournament, with the Bruins advancing
to their second straight regional semifinal. Indiana and Kansas rank in the top 10 in various early-season projections, while the Hoosiers, Jayhawks, Red Storm and Bruins are among the top 10 all-time winningest programs in NCAA Division I history. Kansas ranks second, UCLA is seventh, St. John's ranks eighth and Indiana is 10th.
The 2015 Maui Jim Maui Invitational will mark the first Tournament appearance for St. John's and Wake Forest, both under the guidance of former NBA All-Stars. The Red Storm will be led in Maui by their all-time leading scorer, Chris Mullin, who is in his first year as head coach at his alma mater. Meanwhile, former Kansas All-American Danny Manning, who participated in the 1987 Maui Jim Maui Invitational with the Jayhawks, will guide the Demon Deacons into their first Maui appearance.
"The Maui Jim Maui Invitational is sure to deliver three days of the best basketball of the early season," Tournament Chairman Dave Odom said. "This bracket features compelling matchups and exciting storylines starting on day one. It is said that the path to the Final Four starts in
Maui. I have no doubt that this statement will be true this year."
Prior to heading to the Maui Jim Maui Invitational, the seven island teams will host one of four regional games participants in the Maui Jim Maui Invitational Opening Games. Those games are scheduled for Nov. 13-16. The four mainland teams will participate in the Regional Games at the University of Northern Colorado Nov. 21 and 22.
Opening Games Schedule
Northern Colorado at Kansas
Cal Poly at UNLV
Austin Peay at Vanderbilt
UMBC at Wake Forest
Cal Poly at UCLA
Austin Peay at Indiana
UMBC at St. John's
Regional Games Schedule
Northern Colorado vs. UMBC
Cal Poly vs. Austin Peay
UMBC vs. Cal Poly/Austin Peay