Men's Basketball to Participate in EA Sports Maui Invitational
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - - Belmont University men's basketball will be one of 12 participating teams in the 2011 EA Sports Maui Invitational, tournament organizers announced Thursday.
One of the most popular and recognizable events in all of college basketball, the EA Sports Maui Invitational has been a Thanksgiving week tradition since 1984. This year's edition showcases a new format - field expansion from eight to 12 teams, competition over two weeks, and play both within the contiguous 48 states and on the island of Maui.
The Bruins will play a total of four games in the EA Sports Maui Invitational.
Belmont opens Nov. 11, facing four-time National Champion Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The last – and only – time the Bruins and Blue Devils faced was in the 2008 NCAA Tournament. In a memorable and highly entertaining game, Belmont took a lead into the final moments before Duke claimed a 71-70 victory.
From there, Belmont will play Memphis Nov. 15 at FedEx Forum. The Tigers won 25 games in 2010-11 and are a consensus preseason Top 20 team. This marks the first meeting between Belmont and Memphis since Dec. 2003.
As the tournament shifts into week two, Belmont will remain stateside for two Regional Games, while Duke and Memphis join Georgetown, Kansas, Michigan, Tennessee, UCLA and host Chaminade in Maui for the customary Championship Round.
The Regional Games will be played Nov. 19-20 at the Murphy Center in Murfreesboro, Tenn., on the campus of Middle Tennessee State University. The Bruins face Towson Nov. 19, and then either UNC Greensboro or host Middle Tennessee State Nov. 20.
Belmont is the first program in Atlantic Sun Conference history to participate in the EA Sports Maui Invitational.
"The EA Sports Maui Invitational is perhaps the premier early-season tournament in the nation, and we are honored to play in such a respected event," Belmont head coach Rick Byrd said. "Playing Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium will provide everyone in our program with a lifetime memory, and facing another national power in Memphis will certainly get our players' attention to start the season."
Byrd added, "The ability to play Regional Games at MTSU will be of great interest to our fans, and provide two additional games against strong competition. It is a great way to start the 2011-12 regular season."
Game times and television for Opening Games and Regional Games will be determined at a later date.
Tickets for Opening Games of the EA Sports Maui Invitational will be administered by host schools. For ticket information on Regional Games, please visit goblueraiders.com or call 1.888.937.6878.
For more information, log onto mauiinvitational.com.