This year’s Maui Invitational is setting up to be a massive tournament. These teams are clashing early this season, and the field is stacked with talented rosters. The first game for Tennessee is against Syracuse on Monday, Nov. 20, and while Maui is a far destination for most, we can get you closer to the court without the costly travel expenses and headaches.
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Maui Invitational Tournament Odds
Listed below are the odds for the teams competing in the Maui Invitational to win the tournament.
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First-round matchups and game times
Listed below are the start times for each of the first four games on Monday, Nov. 20. The times listed are Eastern.
- Tennessee vs. Syracuse, 2:30 p.m.
- Purdue vs. Gonzaga, 5 p.m.
- Kansas vs. Chaminade, 9 p.m.
- UCLA vs. Marquette, 11:30 p.m.
The winners of the first two games will face one another in the first semifinal on Tuesday. The winners of the third and fourth games will play one another in the second semifinal on Tuesday. The championship game is Wednesday at 5 p.m. ET. All teams will play three games during the tournament, Monday through Wednesday.
Maui Invitational Preview
With the season underway for the Tennesee Volunteers, the expectations are being talked about in a big way. The Maui Invitational is an early tournament to give teams across the country a sense of tournament competition before the Big Dance in March. This tournament has a stacked field and prompts everyone involved to bring their best. The field for this tournament has a combined 83 Final Four appearances, which should cue you in on just how many historic and high-standing teams will be involved looking to crown themselves the winner.
Kansas, Purdue, and Marquette are all in the top five of the AP top 25 with Tennessee being left out for now, currently at No. 7. Transfer Dalton Knecht, having recently been named as the SEC Men’s Player of the Week, certainly has lived up to be the bright spot coach Rick Barnes has hoped he would be. Combining Knecht with returning guards Zakai Zeigler and Santiago Vescovi, this Tennessee roster is primed to make a big splash in the Maui Invitational. Jordan Gainey has also bolstered this team to give it a chance to compete as we saw in their games against Wisconsin and Wofford. With so much talent on this team, Barnes will have to continue to work his balancing act amongst his rising stars.
Rocky Top of the Court? Vols Look to Make Statement
The Vols have the second best odds to win the tournament, right behind Kansas. Just like the Jayhawks, the Vols are also undefeated. The Volunteers will be the opening game for the tournament against Syracuse. Fresh off a win against Wofford, The Volunteers had Vescovi, Knecht, and Gainey all deliver double-digit points. Prior to the season starting, Barnes has described how all of these guards on the team can shoot well. Three games into the season, we are witnessing just how true that is. Zeigler gives this team a boost on defense.
This Volunteers team comes across as sharp and cerebral, and it can keep up with those teams that can shoot lights out. Winning this tournament would put the whole college basketball world on notice, don’t be surprised if Tennessee comes away as the victor.
Jayhawks’ New Big Man on Campus
Kansas passed the first test of the year by beating No. 17 Kentucky in a thriller that ended in 89-84 thanks in large part to Hunter Dickinson. The Jayhawks’ new center stood out with 21 rebounds as well as 27 points, leading the team. This major performance showed just how important those second chances are. Kansas needed every one of those 21 rebounds from Dickinson which kept the Jayhawks afloat in their comeback win. In addition, Dickinson shot efficiently by making 8 of 12 field goals.
The Jayhawks are the favorite to win this tournament for a reason. This team is off to a white hot start of 4-0, and Kansas will have a chance to make a deep tournament run seeing as it hasn’t slowed down one bit.
Maui Invitational Prediction: Tennessee Comes Up Big
Tennessee has the right pieces in place to compete with this talented field. We know about guards Ziegler and Knecht, but the catalyst in this whole equation has to be big man Jonas Aidoo. With Kansas and Purdue having talented big men roles, it can be hard for teams like Tennessee to keep up. Forward Jonas Aidoo will have to stand his ground against a potential matchup against Purdue’s Zach Edey and Kansas’ Hunter DIckinson and limit their success in the pick and roll.
If Tennesee can keep pace with the big men in this tournament, this team has fire power everywhere else along the wings to keep games close. Tennessee should come out on top as the winner in Maui and kick start a campaign to make a deep March run.