On Wednesday morning, the match-ups for the 2013 Maui Invitational were released and this year’s field should certainly carry over the early season excitement that the fans in Hawaii have become accustomed to.
The Bulldogs will square off with the Dayton Flyers in their quarterfinal match-up in Maui. The winner of that game will advance to the semifinal round and await the winner of the Chaminade – Baylor contest. On the flip side of the bracket, Arkansas will square off against California, while the Orange will take on the Minnesota Golden Gophers and first year head coach Richard Pitino.
The tournament will also include four “mainland teams” in Coastal Carolina, St. Francis (Brooklyn), Louisiana-Lafayette and Oakland, although none of the aforementioned squads will advance to the island of Maui. I know, what a bummer.
Either way, college basketball in late November should be at its finest as each of these squads will look to better their non-conference resumes by making an early statement. Minnesota and California will be two dark horses to keep an eye upon, but many fans certainly wouldn’t complain about a Syracuse-Gonzaga title bout.
The Bulldogs lost a few stars in Kelly Olynyk and Elias Harris, but Gonzaga still returns tons of talent, while Syracuse will move forward with an unproven back court after the losses of both Brandon Triche and Michael Carter-Williams.
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