Maui Invitational Pairings Announced
Aug. 29, 2002
SPOKANE, Wash. - Gonzaga University will face the University of Utah on Monday, Nov. 25, in the nightcap of the opening round of the 2002 EA SPORTS Maui Invitational men's basketball tournament.
Tip-off is 8:30 p.m. PST time from the Lahaina Civic Center. Other first-round pairings are host Chaminade University against the University of Virginia 11 a.m. PST, the University of Massachusetts against Indiana University at 2 p.m. PST and Arizona State University against the University of Kentucky at 6 p.m. PST. Gonzaga is in the same bracket with UMass and Indiana.
A schedule of televised games will be announced later.
The Bulldogs and Runnin' Utes will be meeting for just the second time, Utah taking a 100-79 victory in Salt Lake City during the 1962-63 season.
Gonzaga is coming off a 29-4 campaign that saw the Bulldogs make a fourth straight trip to the NCAA Tournament. The Bulldogs finished with a school-best No. 6 ranking in the final Associated Press Top 25 poll. Gonzaga returns a strong nucleus, led by 6-8 forward Cory Violette (12.8 ppg, 8.3 rpg), 6-8 forward Zach Gourde (13.2 ppg, 6.4 rpg) and guard Blake Stepp (9.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 3.8 assists) who is the heir apparent to replace Dan Dickau at point guard.
The Utes were 21-9 a year ago, 10-4 for second place in the Mountain West Conference. Utah received an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, losing to Indiana in the first round.
Utah returns three starters. Britton Johnsen, a 6-9 forward, was named the MWC Player of the Year last season, averaging 12.6 ppg and 6.3 rpg. He's joined on the front line by 6-11 center Cameron Koford who averaged 3.7 ppg and 2.5 rpg. Koford became the starter the second half of the season, getting the nod in 13 of the final 15 games. The other returning starter is 6-4 guard Nick Jacobson, who led the Utes in scoring with his 13.0 ppg.
The game features the old and the new of the coaching ranks. Gonzaga's Mark Few is entering his fourth year as head coach of the Bulldogs, his 81 wins the most by any third-year head coach in the history of NCAA Division I basketball. Utah's Rick Majerus is entering his 14th year at Utah with a 283-82 record, and his 19th year overall with a 382-184 record.
Among the storied match-ups is the opening game between host Chaminade and Virginia. It's the 20th anniversary re-match of what many experts call the greatest upset in the history of college basketball when a small, little known Division II Hawaii school named Chaminade beat then top-ranked Virginia led by three-time college MVP Ralph Sampson.
The winner of this memorable re-match will face the winner of ASU-Kentucky. The rapidly improving Sun Devils, under head coach Rob Evans, will try to knock off seven-time NCAA champion Kentucky.
"We're thrilled to have a terrific line-up of teams representing a cross-section of the nation's leading conferences," said Tournament Chairman Wayne Duke. "We're extremely proud of our history as one of college basketball's most respected early season tournaments, and we look forward to the upcoming 19th EA SPORTS Maui Invitational continuing a great tradition."
Monday, November 25 Game 1 - Chaminade vs. Virginia (9 a.m. local time /11 a.m. PST) Game 2 - Massachusetts vs. Indiana (12 p.m. / 2 p.m. PST) Game 3 - Arizona State vs. Kentucky (4 p.m. / 6 p.m. PST) Game 4 - Utah vs. Gonzaga (6:30 p.m. / 8:30 p.m. PST)
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