2012 Maui Invitational Preview and Predictions

maui invitational logo

As much as Feast Week is about stuffing your face with turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes; it’s also about sweet college basketball tournaments like the Maui Invitational.  This field is not as stacked as a year ago when Duke needed a pair of Tyler Thornton “Onions” three pointers to beat Kansas in the title game.  Nevertheless here are my predictions from a field which includes North Carolina, Texas, Marquette, Illinois, and Butler.

Here is the link to the official 2012 Maui Invitational bracket.

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#63 Illinois Fighting Illini: College Basketball 111 in 111

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s third annual college basketball season preview series.  Two years we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  Last year, we were slightly more aggressive and expanded to 111 teams in 111 days and will do so again as we look ahead to the 2012-2013 season.

We will rank the 75 power conference teams and top 36 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

After several years of underachieving, Bruce Weber was shown the door as Illinois Fighting Illini head coach and replaced by Ohio’s John Groce.  There is still decent enough talent left on the Illini roster but can Groce right the ship in his first year in Champaign?

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#109 Mississippi State Bulldogs: College Basketball 111 in 111

mississippi state dance team

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s third annual college basketball season preview series.  Two years we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  Last year, we were slightly more aggressive and expanded to 111 teams in 111 days and will do so again as we look ahead to the 2012-2013 season.

We will rank the 75 power conference teams and top 36 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

The Mississippi State Bulldogs were one of the most disappointing teams in college basketball last season.  As a result, fourteen-year head coach Rick Stansbury “retired” and was replaced by little known Clemson assistant, Rick Ray.  Ray inherits a messy situation in which he loses six of the Bulldogs eight rotation players from last season.

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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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