HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The first big upset of the tournament featured #3 Michigan State falling to un-ranked Virginia Tech 71-66, but that would be the only upset on day one of the Maui Invitational.
The Chaminade Silverswords (2-1) fell to No. 4-ranked Kansas Jayhawks (4-1) 93-63 in their tournament opener, at the Lahaina Civic Center.
Jayhawks Devon Dotson scored 19 points, while Udoka Azubuike totaled 15 points (all in the second half), as Kansas led by as many as 35 throughout the game.
Despite the loss the Silverswords community came out loud and proud as over 40 students, faculty and staff, flew over to Maui to be with the team during this week, and packed the corner sideline behind the Silverswords bench yelling wildly throughout the game.
Even with the lopsided score Chaminade head coach Eric Bovaird believes the tournament and the energy it brings is unlike any other in college basketball.
“It was a lot of fun being out there again coaching,” said Bovaird. “This tournament is the best in the world, I been to a lot of tournaments but this is the best one, everyone wants to be a part of this one.”
Chaminade president Dr. Lynn Babington says the athletics program and university is elated to just be back on the Valley Isle and contending against national powers, while putting their student athletes in a position in which many Division II programs never get the chance.
“The Maui Invitational is such a special special event for all of us," said Babington. "Our whole Chaminade community and our whole Ohana is here and our players come to Chaminade to play, so that they can have the opportunity to play in the Maui Invitational.”
The tournament itself however is so much bigger then just basketball for many of the young men who grew up watching it.
Kevin Kremer Sr. and his Ohana flew out for the tournament from California and have been attending the Maui Invitational for a decade, but this years tournament is extra special.
“It’s been a family vacation and now this year our son is playing in the tournament,” said Kremer.
Kevin Kremer’s son Kevin Jr. is a 6-6 forward on the Silverswords roster, and according to his dad, playing in the Maui Invatational was the realizing of a dream.
“It’s pretty cool,” said Kremer Sr. “He was a kid out there doing the drills and stuff and now he is on the court playing against Kansas so I think it’s a dream come true for him.”
The Silverswords will next take on UCLA on day two of the tournament, on Nov. 26 at 12:00 p.m. Hawaii time.
The game will be televised live on ESPN 2.