Kansas to Open Against Chaminade in Maui
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas men’s basketball will face Chaminade on Monday, Nov. 23, in its opening contest of the 2015 Maui Jim Maui Invitational Championship Round bracket at Lahaina Civic Center in Maui, Hawaii, as the event announced its bracket Tuesday.
All 12 Championship Round games of the Maui Jim Maui Invitational will be televised by the ESPN family of networks. The Kansas vs. Chaminade matchup is slated for an 8 p.m. CT tip and will be televised on ESPNU.
The loaded field joining Chaminade in the 32nd edition of the premier early-season tournament will include Kansas, Indiana, St. John’s, UCLA, UNLV, Vanderbilt and Wake Forest. The Maui Jim Maui Invitational Championship Round will be held Nov. 23, 24 and 25, 2015, on the island of Maui. After opening with host-school Chaminade, KU will play either UNLV or UCLA in its second game Nov. 24 and St. John’s, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest or Indiana on the final day, Nov. 25.
“It’s obviously a great field,” head coach Bill Self said. “You have storied programs and programs that are right on the verge of doing something great. When I studied the bracket, I really pointed out what a great field it was. We’ll play Chaminade, which is not a ‘gimme game’ by any stretch, in the first round. I’m sure we’ll be talking to our players about Virginia (top-ranked and lost to Chaminade in 1982) many years ago before we play. Then the second-round matchup, we’re either going to play UCLA or UNLV. UNLV gave us all we wanted last year in the Fieldhouse and UCLA has been to back-to-back Sweet 16s – so it’s good. I know our guys are looking forward to it.”
Kansas returns to Maui for the sixth time overall and third time under Self. KU finished runner-up at the 2011 Maui Invitational and the Jayhawks went on to advance to the school’s 14th Final Four and the national title game later that season. In 2006, KU finished seventh in the event defeating Chaminade, 102-54, on the final day. The Jayhawks are 2-0 versus the Silverswords, having defeated them 89-62 in the 1987 Maui Invitational quarterfinals and in 2006.
Self will be in the same field as his longtime assistant and Jayhawk legend, Danny Manning, but Self was none too sad to see Wake Forest and its head coach on the other side of the bracket. If the two teams cross paths, it would not come until the final day as they were set up on opposite sides.
“I’m actually glad they put Danny (Manning, head coach at Wake Forest) and me in opposite brackets,” Self said. “He and I talked about it and he’s pretty happy about that, too. If we make it to the finals, that would be great for both of us, but I wouldn’t be excited about playing Wake and I don’t think he’d be excited about playing Kansas.”
This will mark the fourth trip to Maui for Self, who has taken two teams to the championship game of the event – Kansas in 2011 and Illinois in 2000. Overall, the Jayhawks are 10-6 in the Maui Invitational and won the 1996 tournament, when Raef LaFrentz earned Tournament MVP honors.
Kansas is also set to face Northern Colorado on Nov. 13 inside Allen Fieldhouse as part of the opening games schedule of the Maui Jim Maui Invitational.
Kansas enters 2015-16 ranked in the top five nationally in most preseason polls. Under Self, who is entering his 13th season at KU, the Jayhawks return four starters and 11 letterwinners from last season’s team which went 27-9 and won its 11th-straight Big 12 Conference regular-season championship. Included is senior forward Perry Ellis who was an All-Big 12 First Team selection last year as well as junior all-conference guards Frank Mason III (second team) and Wayne Selden, Jr. (third team).
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