RTC Destination 2011: MauiPosted by nvr1983 on October 14th, 2010
Normally we would consider a trip to Maui an excellent idea even if John Calipari is not always so thrilled by the idea, but a trip to Maui in 2011 could be an even more exceptional trip based on the recently released 2011 Maui Invitational field in what should be the best field in the history of the storied tournament. The field includes five teams that have won national championships (Duke, Kansas, UCLA, Michigan, and Georgetown), two solid programs that have been hit by scandal recently (Tennessee and Memphis) and the host school that pulled off the greatest upset in NCAA history (Chaminade). In addition to the loaded field the Maui Invitational has expanded into what can best be described as a confusing combination of games with the tournament broken into three parts:
- Four teams (aka “sacrificial lambs” TBD) will play games between November 11th and 17th at the seven Maui-bound schools (all of the teams listed above except Chaminade). Three of the schools will get to play two games and the other will only get to play one game.
- Those four teams (“sacrificial lambs”) will play a pair of doubleheaders at one of those four schools on November 19th and 20th
- The regular 12-game Maui Invitational (for the big boys and Chaminade) from November 21st through 23rd
So what this basically means is that the seven Maui-bound teams will get a game against what should be relatively easy opponents before heading out to Maui for the traditional tournament. The other four teams will get a chance to take a swing at Goliath and then play against each other. From all indications it seems like this is going to be like the Coaches vs Cancer games where they have a “tournament” even though the big boys are guaranteed a spot in the next round.
We hope that the Maui Invitational committee will see fit to choose a worthy group of adversaries for the “other four” (perhaps teams like Cornell, Siena, Richmond, and Northern Iowa last year). The big boys would probably be opposed to that idea for fear of losing what they had originally expected, but if the Maui Invitational committee is serious about making this expanded Maui Invitational more interesting it is something that they should strongly consider.