MAUI, Hawaii, Aug. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- The EA SPORTS™ Maui Invitational® today announced the official bracket for the 2010 edition of the nation's premier early-season college basketball tournament. This is the 27th year of tournament basketball in paradise. Maui's oceanfront Lahaina Civic Center will again be the venue for the eight-team competition during Thanksgiving week from Nov. 22-24, 2010.
This November, three teams with a combined 11 national championships, including Connecticut, Kentucky and Michigan State, will spearhead the 2010 field. These teams will be joined by Oklahoma, Virginia, Washington, Wichita State and host school Chaminade University of Honolulu in the hunt for the coveted Wayne Duke Championship Trophy. Three of the seven Division I teams participated in the 2010 NCAA® Tournament highlighted by Michigan State's Final Four® run and Kentucky's trip to the Elite Eight®.
First-round action tips off on Monday, Nov. 22 in the top half of the bracket with game one featuring Wichita State, which finished second in the Missouri Valley Conference last year and is coached by Gregg Marshall, and 2005 EA SPORTS Maui Invitational champion and two-time national champion Connecticut led by coach Jim Calhoun. The winner of this game will take on the winner of game three, which pits two-time national champion and 1991 Maui champion Michigan State, directed by Tom Izzo, against tournament host Chaminade and the winningest coach in program history Matt Mahar.
The bottom half of the bracket starts with game two featuring coach Jeff Capel and Oklahoma, which made the NCAA Tournament two of the last three years, against seven-time national champion, 1993 Maui champion and last year's SEC regular season and tournament champion Kentucky, led by head coach John Calipari. Game four pairs 1996 and 2002 Maui runner-up Virginia, led by second-year coach Tony Bennett, the 2007 AP National Coach of the Year at Washington State, against Pac-10 power Washington, which under the direction of coach Lorenzo Romar will make its first appearance in Maui.
"This year's 27th annual tournament showcases another field of powerhouse competition," said EA SPORTS Maui Invitational Tournament Chairman David Odom. "College basketball fans from around the globe can look forward to another remarkable and exciting week of basketball at one of the most unique basketball venues and most beautiful destinations in the world."
The ESPN networks will combine once again to offer live television coverage of all 12 tournament games. For the second straight year, every game will be produced in high definition on ESPN HD, ESPN2 HD and ESPNU HD, with the ESPN and ESPN2 games also streaming live on ESPN3.com.
Remaining game tickets for the 2010 tournament, including school specific booster tickets will be on sale for the general public on Wednesday, Aug. 25 at 3 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (9 a.m. Hawaiian Standard Time) via www.mauiinvitational.com. Travel packages with game tickets and hotel accommodations are currently available through Oahu Travel, the tournament's official travel agency, by calling 800.826.3822. In addition, tickets are still available for Sunday's (Nov. 21) "An Evening with the Coaches: Tip-Off Banquet," a special dinner and entertainment event with the 2010 head coaches and teams. Visit the website's "Tickets & Travel" section for details.
In all, 87 schools representing 21 conferences and 39 states have competed in the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational, with Maui participants having won an astounding 56 of 72 NCAA championships and 55 of 72 national runner-up spots while comprising 216 of 288 Final Four teams.
EA SPORTS™ is one of the leading sports entertainment brands in the world, with top-selling videogame franchises, award-winning interactive technology, global videogame competitions and breakthrough digital experiences. EA SPORTS delivers personal access to the emotion of sports through industry-leading sports simulation videogames, including Madden NFL football, FIFA Soccer, NHL® hockey, NBA LIVE basketball, NCAA® Football, Fight Night boxing, EA SPORTS MMA, Tiger Woods PGA TOUR® golf, and EA SPORTS Active.
In addition to title sponsor EA SPORTS, other tournament sponsors include the Maui Visitors Bureau, County of Maui Department of Parks and Recreation, Hawaii Tourism Authority, adidas and GEICO. The Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa, Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa and Westin Maui Resort & Spa, all located in the beautiful Ka'anapali Beach Resort area, serve as host hotels for the thousands of fans and boosters who annually accompany their teams to Maui. KemperSports/KemperLesnik has operated the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational since 1990.
For complete tournament information, visit the official tournament Web site at www.mauiinvitational.com. To inquire about travel packages contact Oahu Travel, the official travel agent of the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational, at 800.826.3822. Media credential applications can be downloaded at www.mauiinvitational.com/media.
Click here for the official tournament bracket.
About KemperLesnik and KemperSports
KemperLesnik is a sports marketing, events and public relations agency. It has produced communications programs and managed major national and international events for more than 30 years, including the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational college basketball tournament and numerous PGA TOUR affiliated events. For more information, visit www.kemperlesnik.com.
Its parent company, KemperSports, operates golf facilities as well as athletic clubs, lodging venues and major sporting events, including nationally ranked courses and tournament venues such as Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, Dorado Beach Resort & Club, The Glen Club, Harbor Shores, Desert Willow Golf Resort and Chambers Bay, host of the 2010 U.S. Amateur and the 2015 U.S. Open. For more information, visit www.kempersports.com.