2018 Maui Invitational: Tournament Primer

2018 Maui Invitational: Tournament Primer

Maui Invitational

2018 Maui Invitational: Tournament Primer


2018 Maui Invitational: Tournament Primer


Quick hitters on the eight teams participating in the Maui Invitational


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San Diego State highlights a loaded Maui Invitational field

The 2018 Maui Invitational begins Monday. Here’s a rundown of the eight teams highlighting the loaded tournament field:

Arizona

W-L record: 3-0
Game results: Houston Baptist – W, 90-60; Cal Poly – W, 82-61;
UTEP – W, 79-46
KenPom rank: 61
2017-18 W-L record & postseason: 27-8, NCAA Tournament (round of 64)
Maui Invitational titles: two (2000, 2014)

Arizona enters the Maui Invitational having won its first three regular season games with ease. This might not be the same elite-level Wildcats squad that we’ve grown used to since Sean Miller took the helm in 2009. The top five scorers from last year’s 27-win team are all out of Tucson, pulling typical sky-high expectations back to reality. UofA might be lucky to pick up a win in Maui.

Auburn

W-L record: 3-0
Game results: South Alabama – W, 101-58; Washington – W, 88-66; Mississippi College* – W, 103-52
KenPom rank: 10
2017-18 W-L record & postseason: 26-8, NCAA Tournament (round of 32)
Maui Invitational titles: none

The ninth-ranked Tigers will look to make the most of their first-ever Maui appearance. Under Bruce Pearl, Auburn is under a program resurgence after winning the SEC and tallying 26 wins last season. Senior guard Bryce Brown leads the SEC power after averaging 15.9 points per game in ’17-18.

Duke

W-L record: 3-0
Game results: Kentucky – W, 118-84; Army – W, 94-72;
Eastern Michigan – W, 84-46
KenPom rank: 1
2017-18 W-L record & postseason: 29-8, NCAA Tournament (Elite Eight)
Maui Invitational titles: five (1992, 1997, 2001, 2007, 2011)

The question everyone’s wondering heading into the Maui Invitational is if anyone can stop or even slow down Duke. The Blue Devils – led by each of the nation’s top three freshman – mowed down Kentucky 118-84 in the season opener. Zion Williamson, standing at 6-7 and 285 pounds, is one of the great physical specimen that the college game has ever witnessed. He’s averaging 25.3 points, 10.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 3.0 blocks a night through three games.

Gonzaga

W-L record: 3-0
Game results: Idaho State – W, 120-79; Texas Southern – W, 104-67;
Texas A&M – W, 94-71
KenPom rank: 6
2017-18 W-L record & postseason: 32-5, NCAA Tournament (Sweet 16)
Maui Invitational titles: one (2009)

Gonzaga, the country’s third-ranked team, is a threat to unseat Duke in the Maui Invitational. The Bulldogs are led by breakout junior Rui Hachimura and a standout supporting cast in Zach Norvell, Josh Perkins, and San Jose State transfer Brandon Clarke. Mark Few’s team has racked up 308 points over three contests to start the season.

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