The EA Sports Maui Invitational Tournament has been part of college basketball for the last 30 years and has showcased some of the best in college basketball. Over the years the tournament has had 99 teams represented. BYU will once again play in the tournament and take on a few good teams in the process. With eight teams in the field, the Cougars could be faced with a number of match-ups, so lets take a look at who they could potentially play. You can also get more information and history on the tournament at their website here.
After two warm up games for the Cougars, they now hit the road for an enviable trip to the island of Maui. This will be the Cougars third visit to the EA Sports Maui Invitational Tournament with previous visits in 1992 and 2004. BYU has had mixed success in the tournament as they dropped two of three games in 2004, with losses to North Carolina (#2 in final AP poll) and Stanford, and beating only Chaminade. In 1992 the Cougars went 2-1 while beating Oklahoma and Memphis State and losing to Duke (#10 in final AP poll) in the championship game.
BYU will start off the tournament with a game against San Diego State and then will play either Pittsburgh or Chaminade. The final game will be determined on Tuesday night. For a complete bracket that gives times and TV coverage click here.
San Diego State Aztecs
The Aztecs have participated in the tournament twice before, in 1989 and 2003, but have yet to make it to the championship game. The Aztecs are the most familiar foe for the Cougars as they have played each other 71 times in the history of the programs. The Cougars and Aztecs have had some fierce games against each other, particularly the last few years they were both in the Mountain West Conference. BYU has the series advantage with 48 wins to 23 losses and are 8-3 over the last 11 games. Unfortunately, two of the three losses have knocked the Cougars out of the conference tournament, the last one being in the championship game. San Diego State will face BYU in the first match-up.
The Silverswords are the host school for the tournament and have been part of the tournament in each of the 30 years. The Silverswords best run came in the inaugural year when they lost to Providence by two points in the championship game. BYU and Chaminade don't have a long history as they have only faced each other once before. The only meeting was in 2004, as BYU earned their only win of the Maui Invitational with a 77-56 win. Chaminade will face Pittsburgh in its first match-up.
The Panthers are making their first trip to the Maui Invitational and are hoping to take advantage of their time, although their road will be a tough one. If they start off the stay with a win, they will take on either San Diego State or BYU the following night. BYU and Pittsburgh have only played once before, in 1986. BYU beat the Panthers that night in the Marriott Center by a score of 93-73. Pittsburgh will face Chaminade in its first match-up.
The Wildcats are making their sixth trip to the tournament and have taken advantage of their opportunities. The Wildcats lost by one in the 1993 Championship game, by eight in the 1997 Championship game, and won the championship in 2000. The Cougars and Wildcats have a rich history as they have played 38 times and are dead even at 19 wins each. The last time the two teams met was in 2010, when Jimmer Fredette and the Cougars manhandled the Wildcats to the tune of an 87-65 beatdown. In fact, the Cougars have blown out the Wildcats the last two times they have met with BYU winning 99-69 in the previous year. Arizona will face Missouri in its first match-up.
The Tigers are making their fourth visit to the tournament, but their first since 1997. The Tigers participated in 1986, 1989, and 1997. In 1989 the Tigers won the championship with an eight point win over the North Carolina Tarheels. BYU and Missouri have never faced either other on the court, the only team in the field that BYU has not previously played. Missouri will face Arizona in their first match-up.
Kansas State Wildcats
The Wildcats are making their third trip to Maui for the tournament. Their best visit, 1985, ended up with a blowout loss to Michigan in the championship game. Kansas State is the only team in the field that has a winning record over BYU. The Wildcats have taken four of the seven games with the latest being an 84-72 win in 2010. Kansas State was ranked 7th in the country and knocked BYU out of the NCAA Tournament in the second round. Kansas State will face Purdue in its first match-up.
The Boilermakers are making their third trip to the tournament with previous visits in 1999 and 2006. Their best showing took place in 1999 when they made it to the championship game, but gave up 90 points North Carolina and lost 90-75. The Boilermakers and Cougars have only met one other time, in 1978. That year the Boilermakers visited Provo, as part of the Cougar Classic, and walked out with a 64-76 loss to the Cougars. Purdue will face Kansas State in its first match-up.