Monday, November 21, 2011

I love the Maui Invitational

It's played in that tiny gym.  You get to see coaches and announcers in ridiculous Hawaiian shirts and leis.  They always put on ukulele music going in and out from commercial breaks.  And it's the only time of year when you hear about Chaminade, a Division II team that gets to host the tournament by default because they happen to be in paradise.  It's always hilarious to see the bracket full of schools like Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, UCLA, etc; and Chaminade.  They do often hold their own in Maui though, just last year they beat Oklahoma, and in '03 Chaminade knocked off Villanova.

But my absolute favorite part of this tournament (going back to when I was in college) is that every year it's good for a random weekday afternoon in November when you flip on ESPN expecting to see a 9th re-run of Sportscenter, but get a great college hoops game instead.  Today I got to see #15 Michigan (I've always been a fan of the Wolverines, and they're coached by John Beilein, who was the Spiders' head coach when I was at Richmond) led by Tim Hardaway Jr. upset #8 Memphis.  Thanks Maui Invitational.

ADDENDUM: Chaminade upset #1 Virginia (who was led by Ralph Sampson) in 1982, which was actually the impetus for the creation of this tournament.  I was aware of that when I wrote the blog, but I didn't think it really fit the context and I was trying to keep it short.  I got an angry comment from Hawaii though, so I felt obligated to add this now and defend myself.  Here's Tom Brokaw 29 years ago:

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