Maui Showdown, Michigan and Duke: Don’t Miss it!

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U. of M. Notable in Upset of Memphis

The Duke Blue Devils have been the kings on Maui, winning titles in 1992, 1997, 2001 and 2007. “That’s the reason it’s been such a great tournament because they’ve always had great fields,” Coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “This one measures up to any of the others in the past,” he added with the famous Ka’anapali Beach in the background. Over the years, Duke has been 13-0 here. This was said on the dais before all the game action started.

Michigan has a pedigree of winning here also. They won in 1985 and 1988 and right now they are hot. They haven’t had the New York-North Carolina-Hawaii travel schedule that Duke just endured.

Coach Mike Krzyzewski free throw
Coach Mike Krzyzewski takes a free throw

It is not a normal student break nor is it a vacation. The famous Aloha hospitality will be in abundance but beach diversions are not conducive to basketball preparations. Duke and Coach ‘K’ are in Maui for the Thanksgiving recess.

All are participating in the EA Sports Maui Invitational. It is an impressive field of teams, including No. 4 UConn, No. 10 Memphis, No. 12 Kansas, No. 17 Michigan, Tennessee, UCLA, Georgetown and Chaminade University.

Duke freshman Austin Rivers had four 3-pointers to help sink Tennessee 77-67. Tim Hardaway Jr. had 21 points and Michigan freshman Trey Burke had 14 as the Wolverines upset Memphis 73-61.

The Lahaina Civic Center will be rocking for this next game. The two winners meet Wednesday on ESPN at 7:00 p.m. EST.

When asked about the highly rated Memphis defense, Hardaway said, “I think it was just preparation. We were talking to our coaches and finding an easy way to score on offense. We took advantage of it and it helped us out in the long run.

Michigan coach John Beilein was trying to squeeze in playing time for most. He said post-game, “We’re going to be here for three days win or lose. So I wanted to make sure we gave a little more rest than we had been giving. Really, we stopped and embraced the moment.”

Coach K Maui free throw photo by Chris Bronson

After his game Krzyzewski said, “But John (Beilein) does a great job. He’s got a veteran team. For them to beat Memphis like that, they must have played a great basketball game, because Memphis is one of the most talented teams in the country.” He added, “I have to get on Detroit’s time zone now. It has been a hectic week.”

The latter is referring to the chaotic pace since breaking the all time coaching wins record at Madison Square Garden in New York. The Coach ‘K’ total is now at 905.

In an early morning contest for state bragging rights, Memphis squeaked by Tennessee 97-99 in two overtimes. The Vols were down by 16 at one point but the fuel injected performance from forward Jerome Maymon kept Tennessee around for the thriller.

KemperLesnik Tourney Notes: The teams for the 2012 EA SPORTS Maui Invitational have been announced. Butler, Illinois, Marquette, Mississippi State, North Carolina, Texas, USC and host Chaminade University are the scheduled teams for the 29th edition.

The First Maui College Basketball Tournament was in 1984. In 1985, Raymond Rolak, Michael Reghi, Jon Brekke and Brian Kohne broadcast the first national telecast of the tourney then played at the War Memorial in Kahalui. Michigan beat Kansas State 80-58 with Dell Curry of Virginia Tech being named as Outstanding Player.

The championship game will be live on ESPN at 10:00 p.m. EST on Wednesday featuring Jay Bilas, Bill Raferty and Sean McDonough as on-air talent.

Raymond Rolak is a veteran sports broadcaster who writes on a range of sporting events, plus automotive and aviation topics of interest.