Maui Invitational Preview: Michigan State’s Tourney to Lose


Maui Invitational logo

Break out the Hawaiian shirts…  The Maui Invitational always seems to be the cream of the Thanksgiving tournament crop and this year is no different as three top fifteen teams headline the field including second ranked Michigan State and the once again young, but talented Kentucky Wildcats.

The Invite will expand to 12 teams next season featuring 23 games, 11 of which are played on the mainland.  The 2011 field is more loaded than a frat boy at 2:00 am on Saturday night with Duke, Kansas, Georgetown, Memphis, Tennessee, and UCLA already committed to play.  Here is a breakdown of the 2010 match-ups:

By: David Kay

Maui invitational bracket

UConn vs. Wichita State, 2:00 pm, ESPN2

What to Watch:
UConn has more talent, but Wichita State has the experience and unselfishness to advance.  The key for the Shockers will be containing Husky point guard Kemba Walker who exploded for 42 points Wednesday night against Vermont.  Whichever team loses this game ends up winning the consolation bracket.

Wichita State 66, UConn 61

Kentucky vs. Oklahoma, 4:30 pm, ESPN2

What to Watch:
Both teams are young but Kentucky has far more talent even without big man Enes Kanter who was ruled ineligible for the season.  The Wildcat trio of newcomers Terrence Jones, Brandon Knight, and Doron Lamb scored 62 points in their collegiate debut and should be the difference in this game.

Kentucky 84, Oklahoma 67

Michigan State vs. Chaminade, 8:30 pm, ESPNU

What to Watch:
The Spartans stomp all over the host school.  Enough said.

Michigan State 91, Chaminade 45

Isaiah Thomas Washington

Washington vs. Virginia, 11:00 pm, ESPN2

What to Watch:
The Huskies have scored 216 points in their first two games this season and have a ton of talent on the wing.  UVA head coach Tony Bennett did some house cleaning this off-season and the Cavaliers are still in re-building mode which does bode well for their match-up with Washington.  They do play hard on the defensive end but the Huskies just have too much offensive firepower.


Washington 78, Virginia 62

Wichita State vs. Michigan State, 6:00 pm, ESPN

What to Watch:
The Spartans are so tough this year because of their experience in the backcourt and depth up-front.  As dangerous as Wichita State will be in the Missouri Valley this season, MSU just has too many weapons.

Michigan State 77, Wichita State 65

Kentucky vs. Washington, 8:30 pm, ESPN

What to Watch:
This game is interesting on a couple fronts.  Remember, Enes Kanter originally committed to Washington before changing his mind and switching to Kentucky.  Highly touted Terrence Ross was originally going to commit to Lorezo Romar’s Huskies before changing his mind at the last second and taking Coach Cal’s money and coming to Lexington.  (I kid, I kid… but probably not)  Romar and the Huskies will want this game BAD and it should be an absolute shoot-out.  I give Washington’s experience the edge over Kentucky’s young talent.

Washington 89, Kentucky 84

Wichita State vs. Kentucky, 4:00 pm, ESPN

What to Watch:
Another battle of talent versus experience.  If they want to stay competitive, the Shockers have to keep this a half-court game which means they must play outstanding transition defense to prevent the ‘Cats from running.  By the way, if the tournament plays out this way, what a huge early season test for Wichita State; games versus UConn, Michigan State, and Kentucky in three days?  That will go a long way once they get to MVC play.

Kentucky 81, Wichita State 67

Tom Izzo

Michigan State vs. Washington, 9:00 pm, ESPN

What to Watch:
This one will be a match-up of some of the best guard play in the country.  Kalin Lucas, Durrell Summers, Korie Lucious, and Keith Appling give Tom Izzo a lot of options in the backcourt while Lorenzo Romar has a solid group consisting of Isaiah Thomas, Abdul Gaddy, Venoy Overton, Scott Suggs, and Terrence Ross.  The question will be whether or not the Huskies have someone to match-up with Draymond Green at the three.  Green will completely over-power UW’s thin small forward, Justin Holliday.  Spartans will be getting lei’ed when it is all said and done.

Michigan State 85, Washington 74

David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank.  He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter and The Washington Times Communities.  You can follow him on Twitter at DavidKay_TSB.


  1. Thanks Kay! 4th place in the Maui is the best I think we can get at Maui, but after seeing MICHIGAN STATE’S weak performance against SOUTH CAROLINA, I think we might win or get 2nd to UK. MICHIGAN STATE only won by 9 to S.Car, and WSU looks like they could stop Lucas and Lucious, if they do that, WSU wins unless MSU stops Toure’ Murry, Garrett Stutz and J.T. Durley. MY PREDICTIONS: QUARTERFINALS: WSU 84 UConn 79: Players of the Game: WSU: T.Murry: 18 points and 7 rebounds and UConn: K.Walker: 27 points. UK 94 OU 69. PLAYERS OF THE GAME: UK: B.Knight: 25 pts and OU: A.Fitzgerald: 22 pts and 7 reb. MSU 96 CHAM 53. PLAYERS OF THE GAME: MSU: K.Lucas: 34 pts and CHAM: S.Bennett: 13 pts ( And yes, I had to look on ESPN for Chaminade’s best scorer from last year and he is now a senior ). WASH 89 VIR 67. PLAYERS OF THE GAME: WASH: M.Brian-Amaning: 22 pts and 12 reb and VIR: M.Scott: 15 pts and 9 reb. SEMIFINALS: WSU 87 MSU 85. PLAYERS OF THE GAME: WSU: T.Murry: 27 pts and 7 reb, game-winning 3 with :03 left and MSU: K.Lucas: 23 pts. UK 89 WASH 84. UK: B.Knight: 28 pts and WASH: M.Brian-Amaning: 24 pts and 10 reb. CONSOLATION: Uconn 79 OU 56. UConn: K.Walker: 32 pts and OU: A.Fitzgerald: 20 pts and 8 reb. VIR 86 CHAM 54. VIR: M.Scott: 14 pts and 10 reb and CHAM: S.Bennett: 18 pts. FINAL: WSU 92 UK 87. PLAYERS OF THE GAME: WSU: T.Murry: 28 pts and 7 reb and UK: B.Knight: 24 pts: MVP of the Maui Invitational: Wichita State’s Toure’ Murry: Averaged: 24.7 pts and 7 reb. 3RD PLACE GAME: MSU 89 WASH 76. PLAYERS OF THE GAME: MSU: K.Lucas: 27 pts and WASH: M.Brian-Amazing: 20 pts and 10 reb. 5TH PLACE GAME: UConn 92 VIR 76. PLAYERS OF THE GAME: UConn: K.Walker: 35 pts and VIR: M.Scott: 12 pts and 12 reb. LAST PLACE GAME: OU 89 CHAM 67. OU: A.Fitzgerald: 18 pts and 11 reb and CHAM: S.Bennett: 14 pts. There you go!

  2. who the fuck is that guy on washington? SWEET PIC…ahhahhaha

  3. Nice closing line “hey everyone, we’re all gonna get le’ed”

    my boys looked AWFUL tonight. nothing like your prediction! and I’m sure Calipari His Royal Sliminess greased the wheels a bit.

    DRAYMOND! Tourney MVP

    Sorry abt your Shox today Brian, I guess we won’t get our MSU-Wichita St. match-up after all

  4. That’s Washington point guard Isaiah Thomas… not to be confused with Isiah Thomas…

    Brian, Watching the Shox/UConn game now… at 1:50 on Monday night/Tuesday morning… I’ll let you know my thoughts…

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