2011 Maui Invitational Preview and Predictions

maui invitational logo

Break out the Hawaiian shirts…  The Maui Invitational always seems to be the cream of the college basketball Thanksgiving tournament crop and this year is no different with five preseason Top 25 teams in the field including three of the top programs of all time; Duke, Kansas, and UCLA.  Last year, it was the coming out party for UConn’s Kemba Walker.  Which player and team will steal the spotlight at the 2011 Maui Invite?  Here is a breakdown and my predictions for how the bracket will unfold.

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#10 Memphis Tigers: College Basketball 111 in 111

memphis dance team

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s second annual college basketball season preview series.  Last year we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  This year, we are being slightly more aggressive and expanding to 111 teams in 111 days.  We will rank the 74 power conference teams and top 37 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

As expected, the Memphis Tigers went through their share of growing pains last season with a very young, but extremely talented roster.  After dominating Conference USA from 2006-2009 in which they only lost one league game, their reign of terror in the conference has hit a bump in the road the past two seasons.  Expect a new era of supremacy to begin this season for Josh Pastner and company.

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#20 Michigan Wolverines: College Basketball 111 in 111

michigan cheerleaders

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s second annual college basketball season preview series.  Last year we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  This year, we are being slightly more aggressive and expanding to 111 teams in 111 days.  We will rank the 74 power conference teams and top 37 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

After suffering through some growing pains with a very young roster, John Beilein’s Michigan Wolverines matured late in the season nearly knocking off Duke in the third round of the NCAA Tournament.  With everybody but Darius Morris returning, Michigan figures to make some serious noise in the Big Ten this season.

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#24 Kansas Jayhawks: College Basketball 111 in 111

kansas jayhawk cheerleaders

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s second annual college basketball season preview series.  Last year we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  This year, we are being slightly more aggressive and expanding to 111 teams in 111 days.  We will rank the 74 power conference teams and top 37 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

The Big 12 title has run through Lawrence as the Kansas Jayhawks have cut down the nets in each of the past seven seasons.  However, Bill Self loses several key contributors from last season and only has eight scholarship players on his roster.  In other words, it could be a rare down year for a Rock, Chalk, Jayhawk team that has only lost six games the past two seasons.

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#64 Tennessee Volunteers: College Basketball 111 in 111

tennessee volunteer cheerleaders

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s second annual college basketball season preview series.  Last year we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  This year, we are being slightly more aggressive and expanding to 111 teams in 111 days.  We will rank the 74 power conference teams and top 37 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

Between the Bruce Pearl scandal and a 30-point loss in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, the 2010-2011 season was rather embarrassing for the Tennessee Volunteers basketball program.  Now it is up to new head coach Cuonzo Martin to get the Vols back on the right track.

For the Tennesse Volunteers Football Season Preview go here

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Marquette, Illinois, Butler in 2012 Maui Invitational

Darius Johnson Odom

The Maui Invitational is usually the best Thanksgiving Holiday college basketball tournament every year.  The 2010 field was stacked with teams like eventual National Champion UConn, Kentucky, Washington, and Michigan StateThe 2012 Maui Invitational will also be loaded featuring Marquette, Illinois, and Butler.

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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
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