Duke Wins Invitational Tournament in Maui

UCLA Falls to Michigan in Consolation

LAHAINA – Duke has won the invitational tournament in Maui hosted by Chaminade University for the fifth time. It wasn’t easy and the outcome was never for certain. Kansas just kept coming back and back and back. Duke sophomore Tyler Thornton hit a hands-in-the-face three-pointer with 20 seconds left to finish Kansas off, 68-61. He had previously made one at 1:10.

The game was like a heavyweight prize fight as the two heralded basketball programs went back and forth. Ryan Kelly got MVP honors for Duke and had 17 points. Mason Plumlee also got 17 also with 12 rebounds.

EA Maui Sports Invitational
Graphic: courtesy Raymond Rolak

Both teams had sizable rooting sections and kept the decibel level high in the compact Lahaina Civic Center. “This is what the Maui Invitational is all about,” said Duke coach Mike Kryzyewski. “We don’t win the tournament without the play of Plumlee” added Coach ‘K’. It was the 907th coaching victory for the storied coach.

Kansas was up 35-31 at halftime. After the game Kansas coach Bill Self said, “Give him (Thornton) credit; I don’t know if he even saw the rim when he took the shot.” It was a great shot and that was the ballgame. That was game.”

Michigan beat UCLA in the consolation game, 79-63. Michigan senior guard Zack Novak had a career-high 22 points in the win.

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