Aug. 3, 2006
ATLANTA – ATLANTA – Georgia Tech’s basketball team will face Purdue in its first-round game, and have Oklahoma and Memphis on its side of the bracket for the 23rd annual EA SPORTS Maui Invitational, which is being played Nov. 20-22 at the Lahaina Civic Center in Maui, Hawaii.
The Yellow Jackets and Boilermakers will play at 5 p.m. Eastern time in their first-round game on Monday, Nov. 20, the second of four games that day, all of which will be televised on ESPN2. Oklahoma and Memphis will meet at 2:30 p.m. ET in the day’s first game. On the other side of the bracket, DePaul meets Kentucky at 9 p.m. and host Chaminade will face 2006 national runner-up UCLA at 11:30 p.m. ET.
KemperSports, the Northbrook, Ill.-based sports marketing and events firm which has operated the tournament since 1990, announced the official bracket Thursday.
The Tech-Purdue winner and the Oklahoma-Memphis winner will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday (ESPN), while the first-round losers play at 1:30 p.m. ET Tuesday (ESPNU). Final-round tip-off times on Wednesday (all Eastern times) are 2 p.m. (fifth-place game, ESPN2), 4:30 p.m. (third-place game, ESPN2), 7:30 p.m. (seventh-place game, ESPNU) and 10 p.m. (championship game, ESPN).
Memphis, which was ranked No. 4; No. 7 UCLA, which lost Florida in the NCAA title game; and No. 24 Oklahoma were all ranked in The Associated Press’ final poll of 2005-06.
This will be Georgia Tech’s first trip to the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational, but its fifth appearance at a regular-season event in the 50th state. The Yellow Jackets played in the Big Island Classic in 1999, and have appeared three times in the Rainbow Classic in Honolulu (1984, 1988, 1994).
The Jackets will meet Purdue for the third time in their history, and first since the 1988 Rainbow Classic, a 72-69 Tech win. The Boilermakers won the other meeting in the 1980 Gator Bowl Classic.
Tech and Oklahoma have split four encounters in their history, last meeting in the 1995 Preseason NIT at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, an 83-72 Tech win. The Yellow Jackets and Sooners also met in the 1994 Rainbow Classic. Tech and Memphis last met in the 1992 NCAA Midwest Regional, an 83-79 overtime win for the Tigers, and are 3-3 overall against each other.
The first two games in Maui plus a potential final-day pairing with UCLA, Kentucky or DePaul gives head coach Paul Hewitt’s young team a very challenging non-conference schedule as the Yellow Jackets attempt to return to the NCAA Tournament.
Also among Georgia Tech’s regular-season games are a nationally-televised contest with Connecticut in February at the Georgia Dome, a December road trip to Vanderbilt, the annual state-rivalry game with Georgia and the Yellow Jackets’ first meeting with cross-town foe Georgia State since 1993.
The complete Yellow Jackets’ schedule, including the Atlantic Coast Conference slate, will be announced in mid-August.
At a glance, the 2006 EA SPORTS Maui Invitational features a duo – one that could potentially square off in a second-round game – that leads the nation in most NCAA titles: UCLA blazes the trail with a record 11 national titles, while Kentucky, college basketball’s all-time winningest program, is close behind with seven national championships; former national runners-up Georgia Tech, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Purdue and UCLA; four 2006 NCAA tournament participants (Kentucky, Memphis, Oklahoma, UCLA); and 2006 national runner-up UCLA and Elite Eight contender Memphis. Tech is the only one of the eight teams making its Maui debut.
Remaining school booster tickets and Monday single-game Tickets will go on sale to the general public on Wednesday, Aug. 16 at 9 a.m. Hawaii time (2 p.m. Eastern time) via the official tournament Web site, and through Oahu Travel, the official tournament travel agency at 800.826.3822.
EA SPORTS, the world’s leading interactive entertainment software company, earlier this year extended its title sponsorship of the Maui Invitational through 2007, advancing a relationship that first began in 2001.
Other tournament sponsors include the Maui Visitors Bureau, County of Maui Department of Parks and Recreation and Hawaii Tourism Authority. The Westin Maui Resort & Spa, Sheraton Maui Resort and Hyatt Regency Resort & Spa, all from the beautiful Ka’anapali Beach resort area, serve as host hotels for the thousands of boosters who annually accompany their teams to Maui.
For up-to-the-minute tournament schedule, ticket and general information, visit the official EA SPORTS Maui Invitational tournament Web site.