Maui Invitational boasts
Cavs-’Swords rematch

By Cindy Luis

"Yes, Virginia, there is a Chaminade."

It was the headline that ran in the Star-Bulletin 20 years ago after the Silverswords upset the then-No. 1 Cavaliers 77-72 at Blaisdell Arena. It's still considered the greatest upset in college basketball history and, two decades later, it's still worthy of being a headline event.

Chaminade vs. Virginia will be the 9 a.m. opening game of this year's EA Sports Maui Invitational at the Lahaina Civic Center. Invited back for the rematch will be former Chaminade players Richard Haenisch and Tim Dunham, retired Silverswords coach Merv Lopes and former Cavalier all-American Ralph Sampson.

The Nov. 25-27 tournament will have nine of its 12 games televised either on ESPN or ESPN2. The other first-round matchups have Massachusetts against NCAA Tournament runner-up Indiana at noon; Arizona State facing Kentucky at 4 p.m.; and Utah meeting Gonzaga at 6:30 p.m.

For the first time in the tournament's 19-year history, the gym will be air-conditioned, according to organizers. Portable units are being brought in from the mainland.

While many exempt tournaments have been struggling to fill their fields lately, the Maui Invitational is very healthy. Michael Myers, public relations director for the event, said teams have been contracted for the next four years and that a long-term television contract will soon be announced.

Hawaii will be making its first appearance next year. Also in the 2003 field are California, Dayton, Florida State, Ohio State, San Diego State, Villanova and host Chaminade. The 2004 field includes Iowa, Louisville, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Stanford, Tennessee, Texas and the Silverswords.

The legality of limiting schools to two exempted tournaments in four years went to court last summer. The NCAA won the right to keep the status quo, but there likely will be other legal challenges in the next year or two.

"Our understanding is it will be looked at again, maybe in January of 2004," said Myers. "It's on everyone's radar screen. But for us, we're focused on the long-term future of our tournament and we feel it's solid."

Chaminade Sports

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