Maui Invitational Game Previews and Bracketology
It is feast week, which means a whole week dedicated to early season tournaments that provide a lot of fun matchups. Being as we have a lot of fun early season matchups decided in the always fun Bracket format, I thought I would give my Bracket predictions for the top tournaments, which starts today with the Maui Invitational.
VCU 71 Marquette 76
The best game in the First Round of the Invitational will be between two teams currently projected to be on the bubble and a win would be helpful to both teams down the stretch. This game will be tight throughout, look for the Golden Eagles just to make one or two more shots than the Rams and win this game.
Wichita State 94 California 43
This isn’t a D1 vs D2 school, but its not much better. California has already lost to UC Riverside, while Wichita State has already showed their dominance against Charleston, that alone should tell you who will win this game. Maybe the Shockers have an off night and only win by 20, but there is no way California wins this game.
Notre Dame 127 Chaminade 86
This is a Division 1 school going up against a Division 2 school, the game will be played at a high pace because Chaminade likes to only play that way and Notre Dame knows they can win that way. The Irish will use this game to work on their rotations and prepare for future games in the Maui Invitational.
Michigan 74 LSU 63
The Wolverines have underperformed thus far, but have an overall experienced team that have a good chance to make the NCAA Tournament. The Tigers seem to be heading on the right track under new head coach Will Wade, however it would be hard to see them beating an experienced Michigan team this early in the season.
VCU 95 California 63
After a tough loss in the first round of the tournament the Rams will play an easy California team in the second round. The Rams will bounce back and win quite handily and will get to play in the 5th place game.
LSU 103 Chaminade 88
Coming off a tough loss in the first round of the Maui Invitational, the Tigers will get tournament host Chaminade. The Silverswords have the offense to keep up with most teams, but their lack of defense will allow the Tigers to win this game comfortably.
Wichita State 75 Marquette 55
The Golden Eagles will be fresh off a tough win over VCU, then will have to face the Shockers in round two. The Eagles can make shots, however it won’t be enough as Wichita State will still probably win by 20.
Notre Dame 86 Michigan 70
The Wolverines will go up against potential player of the year Bonzie Colson in a game that will datermine who gets to play Wichita State in the Maui Invitational. The Wolverines will not get blown out, however the Irish will use a late second half run to pull away and move into the Maui Invitational Championship game.
California 85 Chaminade 88
The battle for last place will almost certainly be between these two teams, Chaminade the host a Division 2 school that always plays well in this tournament will play a California team that if they lose this game to Chaminade will almost certainly be cooked by @CollegeHoopNews’ chef bubble. Look for this game to be back and forth throughout but in the end the Silverswords will pull out a victory and secure a 7th place finish in the Maui Invitational.
VCU 77 LSU 66
A game that will likely be an unintentional matchup will see Will Wade go up against his former team in the 5th place game. The issue Will Wade will have is he left his old team VCU with too much talent and so it would be hard to see LSU winning this game. Look for the Tigers to keep the game close, however look for the more experienced team in VCU to pull away late.
Marquette 82 Michigan 77
A game between two potential NCAA Tournament teams will see the hot shooting Marquette Golden Eagles go up against a tough and experienced Michigan team. Look for this game to be close throughout, but a couple of late three-pointers by Markus Howard will lift the Golden Eagles to a win in the third place game.
Notre Dame 67 Wichita State 70
The Championship game of the Maui Invitational will see the Irish lead by Bonzie Colson go up against one of the deepest teams in the country in Wichita State. This game will be close throughout, with no team ever taking a lead over 7 points. Late in the game it will be Landry Shamet and Bonzie Colson going back and forth offensively. With the game tied at 67, Landry Shamet will hit a game-winning three pointer at the buzzer to give the Shockers the Maui Invitational Championship.