Maui Invitational Tournament

The Maui Invitational, currently known as the Maui Jim Maui Invitational, is an annual early-season college basketball tournament that takes place Thanksgiving week, normally in Lahaina, Hawaii, at the Lahaina Civic Center on the island of Maui. It is hosted by Chaminade University of Honolulu, a NCAA Division II school. Eight NCAA Division I men's basketball teams are invited to Maui to complete the field. The Maui Invitational has been played since 1984 and is carried by ESPN. Camping World became the title sponsor for the 2020 Tournament only. Maui Jim became the title sponsor of the tournament in 2015 and returned as title sponsor in 2021; the previous fourteen tournaments were sponsored by EA Sports.[1]

Maui Invitational
Current season, competition or edition:
Current sports event 2021 Maui Invitational Tournament
Maui Invitational Tournament Logo.jpg
SportCollege Basketball
No. of teams8
CountryUnited States
Venue(s)Lahaina Civic Center (Lahaina, Maui; normal)
Michelob Ultra Arena (Las Vegas, Nevada in 2021)
Most recent
Wisconsin Badgers
Most titlesDuke Blue Devils (5)
TV partner(s)ESPN
Sponsor(s)Maui Jim


The tournament had its roots in a game that is considered one of the greatest upsets in college history. On December 23, 1982 the top-ranked and undefeated University of Virginia made a scheduled trip to Honolulu for a game. Originally seeking to play the University of Hawaii, Virginia agreed to play Chaminade, which at the time belonged to the NAIA, on the trip instead. In a game that was not televised and only covered by one sportswriter from outside the local media (Michael Wilbon of The Washington Post, who was in Honolulu to cover the University of Maryland's performance in the inaugural Aloha Bowl), Chaminade defeated the Ralph Sampson-led Virginia squad 77–72 in front of 3,300 spectators at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center.[2] Shortly after the upset, Virginia head coach Terry Holland congratulated Chaminade's athletic director, Mike Vasconcellos, and suggested to him that he consider beginning a Hawaii tournament. Two years later, the Maui Classic was inaugurated with Chaminade reaching the final and losing to Providence.[3]

Today the tournament provides schools an opportunity to compete on a neutral court with some of the top basketball programs in the country. Associated Press college basketball editor Jim O'Connell called the Maui Invitational "the best in-season tournament in the country – the standard by which all others are compared."[4] Some 108 schools representing 26 conferences and 40 states have competed in the Invitational. Five times the winner has gone on to win the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship later that season: Michigan in 1988, North Carolina three times—in 2004, 2008, and 2016, and UConn in 2010.

Of the eight teams which play in the tournament, generally there is one from each of the six major conferences (the Pac-12, Big Ten, Big 12, Big East (before its 2013 split), ACC, and the SEC), one from another conference such as the American Athletic Conference, Conference USA, the Mountain West Conference or the Atlantic 10, and Chaminade. Beginning with the 2011 tournament, the field includes four additional mainland teams that play the Maui-bound teams at home. The four mainland teams will then play each other in regional games. The winner from each game will square off in the championship contest, preceded by the consolation game between the losers.[5]

Beginning in 2018 and continuing with every even-numbered year, Chaminade will play games on the mainland, and eight Division I schools will compete in the championship bracket on Maui. In odd-numbered years, Chaminade will compete in the championship bracket.[6]

Due to COVID-19 issues, the 2020 and 2021 tournaments were both moved to the US mainland. The 2020 event was held at Harrah's Cherokee Center in Asheville, North Carolina, while the 2021 event will be held at Michelob Ultra Arena on the Las Vegas Strip.[7]

Effect on local economyEdit

Each year more than 4,000 out-of-state visitors—boosters, players, officials, team and game personnel, media representatives, sponsors, production crews and basketball fans—attend. The 2007 Maui Invitational Tournament ranked among Hawaii's top revenue-generating events, bolstering the local economy by more than $8 million according to financial data released by the Maui Visitors Bureau. The tournament has brought more than $110 million to Maui's economy since the tournament's debut in 1984 (through 2005).[8]

Yearly champions, runners-up, and MVPsEdit

Year Winner Score Opponent Tournament MVP
1984 Providence 60–58 Chaminade Patrick Langlois, Chaminade
1985 Michigan 80–58 Kansas State Dell Curry, Virginia Tech
1986 Vanderbilt 87–71 New Mexico Will Perdue, Vanderbilt
1987 Iowa 97–74 Villanova Entire Iowa Team
1988 Michigan 91–80 Oklahoma Glen Rice, Michigan
1989 Missouri 80–73 North Carolina Doug Smith, Missouri
1990 Syracuse 77–74 Indiana Billy Owens, Syracuse
1991 Michigan State 86–61 Arkansas George Gilmore, Chaminade
1992 Duke 89–66 BYU Bobby Hurley, Duke
Penny Hardaway, Memphis State
1993 Kentucky 93–92 Arizona Travis Ford, Kentucky
1994 Arizona State 97–90 Maryland Mario Bennett, Arizona State
1995 Villanova 77–75 North Carolina Kerry Kittles, Villanova
1996 Kansas 80–63 Virginia Raef LaFrentz, Kansas
1997 Duke 95–87 Arizona Steve Wojciechowski, Duke
1998 Syracuse 76–63 Indiana Jason Hart, Syracuse
1999 North Carolina 90–75 Purdue Joseph Forte, North Carolina
2000 Arizona 79–76 Illinois Michael Wright, Arizona
2001 Duke 83–71 Ball State Mike Dunleavy, Jr., Duke
2002 Indiana 70–63 Virginia Bracey Wright, Indiana
2003 Dayton 82–72 Hawaii Keith Waleskowski, Dayton
2004 North Carolina 106–92 Iowa Raymond Felton, North Carolina
2005 Connecticut 65–63 Gonzaga Adam Morrison, Gonzaga
2006 UCLA 88–73 Georgia Tech Darren Collison, UCLA
2007 Duke 77–73 Marquette Kyle Singler, Duke
2008 North Carolina 102–87 Notre Dame Ty Lawson, North Carolina
2009 Gonzaga 61–59* Cincinnati Matt Bouldin and Steven Gray, Gonzaga
2010 Connecticut 84–67 Kentucky Kemba Walker, Connecticut
2011 Duke 68–61 Kansas Ryan Kelly, Duke
2012 Illinois 78–61 Butler Brandon Paul, Illinois
2013 Syracuse 74–67 Baylor C. J. Fair, Syracuse
2014 Arizona 61–59 San Diego St Stanley Johnson, Arizona
2015 Kansas 70–63 Vanderbilt Wayne Selden Jr. and Frank Mason III, Kansas
2016 North Carolina 71–56 Wisconsin Joel Berry II, North Carolina
2017 Notre Dame 67–66 Wichita State Matt Farrell, Notre Dame
2018 Gonzaga 89-87 Duke Rui Hachimura, Gonzaga
2019 Kansas 90–84* Dayton Udoka Azubuike and Devon Dotson, Kansas
2020 Texas 69–67 North Carolina Matt Coleman III, Texas
2021 Wisconsin 61–55 Saint Mary's Johnny Davis, Wisconsin

Championships by teamEdit

Team Championships Years
Duke 5 1992, 1997, 2001, 2007, 2011
North Carolina 4 1999, 2004, 2008, 2016
Kansas 3 1996, 2015, 2019
Syracuse 3 1990, 1998, 2013
Arizona 2 2000, 2014
UConn 2 2005, 2010
Gonzaga 2 2009, 2018
Michigan 2 1985, 1988
Wisconsin 1 2021
Texas 1 2020
Notre Dame 1 2017
Illinois 1 2012
UCLA 1 2006
Dayton 1 2003
Indiana 1 2002
Villanova 1 1995
Arizona State 1 1994
Kentucky 1 1993
Michigan State 1 1991
Missouri 1 1989
Iowa 1 1987
Vanderbilt 1 1986
Providence 1 1984

Future tournament fieldsEdit


On April 1, 2021, the participants for the 2022 tournament were announced:[9][10]


On April 1, 2022, the participants for the 2023 tournament were announced:[11]


  1. ^ Eleni Gill, Lorin. "Maui Jim is title sponsor of Maui Invitational basketball tournament". American City Business Journals. Retrieved March 12, 2015.
  2. ^ Wolff, Alexander (December 24, 2007). "The Greatest Upset Never Seen". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved November 22, 2011.
  3. ^ "Maui Invitational". ESPN. Retrieved 26 Nov 2012.
  4. ^ "EA SPORTS Maui Invitational". Kemper Sports. Retrieved 26 Nov 2012.
  5. ^ "Men's basketball to participate in Maui Invitational; Blue Raiders will host inaugural Maui Regional Games". BRAA and Middle Tennessee Athletic Communications. August 4, 2011. Archived from the original on March 14, 2012. Retrieved November 22, 2011.
  6. ^ "2018 TOURNAMENT FEATURES STRONGEST FIELD IN HISTORY". Maui Invitational. October 26, 2016. Retrieved September 16, 2017.
  7. ^ "Maui Invitational to be played in Las Vegas in 2021 amid COVID-19 pandemic". Associated Press. October 2, 2021. Retrieved October 6, 2021.
  8. ^ Boylan, Peter. "Maui welcomes basketball fans". The Honolulu Advertiser. Retrieved 26 Nov 2012.
  9. ^ "Maui Jim Invitational Reveals Stacked 2022 Tournament Field". Maui Invitational. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
  10. ^ "Arkansas, Ohio State Lead 2022 Maui Invitational field". Sports Illustrated. Associated Press. Retrieved 2022-04-05.
  11. ^ Sweeney, Kevin. "Maui Invitational to Feature Loaded 2023 Field". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 2022-04-05.

External linksEdit