Maui Invitational announces return of Gonzaga

Under new ownership, the Maui Invitational is bringing a new look to the five-year-old tournament featuring a return of Gonzaga, Syracuse and Michigan, who will appear for the first time in the event, as…

Maui Invitational announces return of Gonzaga

Under new ownership, the Maui Invitational is bringing a new look to the five-year-old tournament featuring a return of Gonzaga, Syracuse and Michigan, who will appear for the first time in the event, as well as the first night session featuring a pair of Top 25 teams (Creighton vs. Texas and Texas Tech vs. Arizona State).

The tournament announced the addition of West Coast power Gonzaga to its 2019 schedule to begin play on Thursday, November 28, 2019 in the War Memorial Gymnasium in West Valley City, Utah.

“I am excited to bring back Gonzaga,” said Dana Altman, Arizona State head coach and Tournament Director. “They are such a prestigious program and the last time we played them they went on to win the national championship.”

The 2014 Maui Invitational featured two of the teams who participated in the 2018 national championship game – Duke and Wisconsin – as well as two of last year’s Final Four squads – Gonzaga and North Carolina.

Arizona State will be making its eighth appearance in the Maui Invitational, the most recent of which was in 2014, with tournament organizer Dana Altman beginning his coaching career in 2006 with the game. The Sun Devils are 1-5 all-time in the tournament.

Michigan will be making its seventh appearance at the Maui Invitational, the most recent of which was in 2017, the first year that Dan Dakich was head coach at the Big Ten school. The Wolverines are 1-5 all-time in the tournament.

Two-time defending national champion Gonzaga is a two-time participant in the Maui Invitational. The Bulldogs are 8-2 all-time in the tournament, including 2-0 in the first-round games.

The 2018 Maui Invitational featured the Final Four rematch between Arizona and Oregon as well as the second meeting between North Carolina and Michigan.

“I have enjoyed working in Maui for a number of years, and we’re thrilled to be bringing Gonzaga back to the invitational for the third time,” said Kevin O’Neill, Hall of Fame team coach and current head coach at Utah State. “The return of Gonzaga to the invitational speaks volumes about the calibre of talent that exists in the Pacific region, and for their group of players to be invited to the invitational at this stage of their careers is proof of their success. I’m excited to add Michigan to the tournament.”

The tournament will be played November 28-30, 2019 at Lahaina Civic Center in Lahaina, Maui, Hawai’i, an elite resort at the foot of the Pali. Tickets will go on sale to the general public Thursday, September 5 at noon (PDT).

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