Duke team to beat in Maui Invitational
Duke will look to continue its Valley Isle dominance tomorrow when the Blue Devils face Princeton in the opening round of the EA Sports Maui Invitational at the Lahaina Civic Center.
Duke has gone home with the title in all three of its previous appearances in the tournament -- claiming the championship in 1992, 1997 and 2001, and winning those nine games by an average margin of 20.3 points.
The tournament opens with host Chaminade facing No. 10 Marquette at 9:30 a.m. LSU and Oklahoma State meet at noon, followed by the Duke-Princeton matchup at 4 p.m.
Arizona State opens its season in the finale against Illinois, which escaped Honolulu with a 79-77 win over Hawaii on Friday.
"I hope (the Hawaii game) is a nice jump-start for us into Maui," Illini coach Bruce Weber said. "I hope this helps us. ... We gutted out a game and learned to win a close game, which we didn't last year."
All of tomorrow's games will be televised on ESPN2. The semifinals are Tuesday and the final round Wednesday, with the championship game scheduled for 5 p.m. on ESPN.
The Maui Invitational's 2009 field was also announced yesterday. Joining Chaminade will be Arizona, Louisville, Maryland, Wisconsin, Colorado, Gonzaga and Vanderbilt.
Next year's field includes Alabama, Indiana, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Oregon, Saint Joseph's and Texas.