Maui, Hawaii (May 1, 2020) – The Maui Jim Maui Invitational announced its 2021 field today, a collection of programs that boasts a combined 137 NCAA Tournament appearances, 59 Sweet Sixteen berths, and two AP Coach of the Year winners.
Butler, Chaminade, Houston, Notre Dame, Oregon, Saint Mary’s, Texas A&M, and Wisconsin convene in Maui for the 38th annual Tournament, which will be contested November 22-24 at the historic Lahaina Civic Center on the island of Maui.
“The Maui Jim Maui Invitational strives to bring the best college basketball teams and talent to the island of Maui year after year,” said Tournament Chairman Dave Odom. “The 2021 field is no exception, and we are extremely excited to welcome these teams to the Lahaina Civic Center.”
Four of the eight participating teams finished the 2019-20 season in the AP Top 25 rankings (Oregon, Wisconsin, Houston, Butler). Two of the 2021 participants are ranked in the top 35 all-time winningest schools, including Notre Dame and Oregon. Houston, Notre Dame, and Wisconsin rank in the top 50 programs with the most NCAA Tournament appearances, with 21, 36, and 24, respectively. Oregon, Saint Mary’s, and Wisconsin all rank in the top 20 winningest teams of the last decade.
Seven out of the eight teams in the 2021 field will be making a return appearance in Maui; Saint Mary’s will be making their first-ever appearance. Notre Dame is the only returning program to have earned a Maui Jim Maui Invitational championship title, having done so in their most recent appearance in 2017.
Teams that have participated in the Maui Jim Maui Invitational throughout the event’s history own 69 of the 81 NCAA championships. Seven schools have gone on to win the national championship after competing in Maui earlier in the season.
All-Tournament travel packages and school Booster travel packages for the 2021 Maui Jim Maui Invitational will be available at a later date.
About the 2021 Championship Round Teams
- LaVall Jordan enters his fourth season as head coach of his alma mater after posting 20-win campaigns in two of those three seasons
- Butler welcomes the highest-rated recruiting class in program history in 2020
- The Bulldogs have earned 16 NCAA Tournament berths, making runs to the national championship game in both 2010 and 2011
- Butler’s only appearance in Maui came in 2012, when they earned a 2-1 record, falling to Illinois in the Championship game
- Eric Bovaird has served nine seasons at helm for the Silverswords, during which time he has secured three NCAA West Regional appearances, five trips to the Pacific West Conference Tournament, and a PacWest Tournament title
- The Silverswords hold some of the greatest upsets in college basketball history, including wins over powerhouses such as California and Texas in Maui
- Chaminade is the official host of the Maui Jim Maui Invitational, appearing in the Tournament from 1984-2017, and in 2019
- Houston Head Coach Kelvin Sampson has been named AP Coach of the Year, NABC Coach of the Year, Big Eight Coach of the Year, Pac-10 Coach of the Year, and is the two-time winner of the AAC Coach of the Year
- The Cougars rank in the top 50 programs in all-time NCAA Tournament appearances, and top 30 in all-time weeks spent at No. 1 in the AP Polls
- 2021 marks Houston’s second appearance in the Maui Jim Maui Invitational, having previously appeared in 2001
- Mike Brey completed his 20th season as head coach of the Fighting Irish, and holds an AP Coach of the Year title
- Notre Dame ranks in the top 35 all-time teams in overall victories
- The Fighting Irish own 36 NCAA Tournament berths, the tenth-highest of all time
- Notre Dame has appeared in the Maui Jim Maui Invitational three times (1993, 2008, 2017), and returns to Maui having won the championship in their most recent appearance
- In his ten seasons at the helm, Dana Altman has been named Pac-12 Coach of the Year three times, leading the Ducks to five consecutive NCAA Tournament berths (2013-17)
- Oregon holds six NCAA Tournament berths from the 2010 season
- The Ducks return for their third appearance in the Maui Jim Maui Invitational (2008, 2016)
- Randy Bennett has served 18 years at the helm for the Gaels, securing his title as the school’s men’s basketball all-time wins leader in that time
- In 2019, the Gaels secured their second NCAA Tournament appearance in three years
- Saint Mary’s ranks in the top 10 winningest programs of the past decade
- The Gaels will make their first ever Maui Jim Maui Invitational appearance in 2021
- In just one season at the helm, Buzz Williams was named SEC Coach of the Year by the Associated Press
- Following a projected 12th-place conference finish, the Aggies shattered expectations in the 2019-20 season, ending the year at sixth place
- Texas A&M returns to Maui for just the second time, with their most recent appearance occurring more than 25 years ago in 1994
- Head Coach Greg Gard was named Big Ten Coach of the Year in 2020
- The Badgers earned their 19th regular season conference championship last year
- Wisconsin will make its fourth appearance in Maui (1995, 2009, 2016); the team fell to North Carolina in the 2016 Maui Jim Maui Invitational championship game
About the Maui Jim Maui Invitational
In December 1982, then No. 1 ranked Virginia, led by National College Player of the Year Ralph Sampson, played little-known NAIA Chaminade University in Honolulu while on the way back from a trip to Tokyo. The Silverswords stunned Virginia 77-72 in one of the greatest upsets in college basketball history. Two years later, in 1984, Chaminade University hosted the first Maui Jim Maui Invitational and it has proven to be the premier early-season college basketball tournament for 36 years running. Each year, the Maui Jim Maui Invitational attracts the top programs, best-known coaches and most outstanding players to compete in an exciting atmosphere at the Lahaina Civic Center near the beautiful beaches of Maui.
About Maui Jim Sunglasses
Maui Jim sunglasses were born on the beaches of Maui and designed to protect eyes from the harsh rays of the island sun. Today, Maui Jim is recognized for unparalleled “Aloha Spirit” and customer service as well as patented PolarizedPlus2® lens technology, which blocks 100% of UV rays and eliminates glare while enhancing color, definition and depth perception. Maui Jim sunglasses have earned the Skin Cancer Foundation Seal of Recommendation as an effective UV filter for the eyes and surrounding skin. For more information, visit MauiJim.com or on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram at @OfficialMauiJim.
About Tournament Sponsors
Other sponsors include the Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau, County of Maui Department of Parks and Recreation, Hawaii Tourism Authority, HMSA, Continental Tire and Tommy Bahama. 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.
About Chaminade University
Chaminade University is a private, Catholic university offering more than 25 undergraduate and graduate programs and is federally designated as a Native Hawaiian serving institution. Guided by its Catholic, Marianist and liberal arts educational traditions, Chaminade prepares students for careers in an evolving global marketplace rooted in the development of moral character, personal competencies and a commitment to build a just and peaceful society. Please visit chaminade.edu for more information.
KemperLesnik is a sports marketing, events and public relations agency. Ranked by Crain’s Chicago Business among Chicago’s top PR agencies, KemperLesnik produces integrated communications programs and manages major national events, including the Maui Jim Maui Invitational, the McDonald’s All American Games, the POWERADE Jam Fest and activation for KitchenAid and its PGA of America partnership. KemperLesnik has operated the Maui Jim Maui Invitational since 1990. For more information, visit www.kemperlesnik.com.
Katherine Kanner, KemperLesnik, 312-888-2106, email@example.com