Photo Courtesy: UA Athletics
MAUI, Hawaii - The EA SPORTS Maui Invitational announced the official bracket for the 30th annual edition of Basketball in Paradise Wednesday on ESPN.com, as the University of Arkansas men's basketball team will take on Pac-12 foe California in its first game on Monday, Nov. 25. The game will be shown on ESPN2 at 2 p.m. CT and will be played at Maui's oceanfront Lahaina Civic Center.
The Razorbacks are part of a Championship Round that also features Baylor, California, Dayton, Gonzaga, Minnesota, Syracuse and host Chaminade. This year's field has combined for 132 NCAA Tournament appearances, 79 conference championships, 18 Final Fours and three national championships.
ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU will offer live, high-definition television coverage of all 12 Championship round games from Nov. 25-27. Games will also be broadcast live on the WatchESPN mobile app and WatchESPN.com.
"The EA SPORTS Maui Invitational is one of the premiere tournaments of the college basketball season and we are excited to be in the tremendous field of eight teams," said head coach Mike Anderson, who was an assistant on the 1991 Arkansas club that finished second in Maui. "California is a well-coached team with a lot of tradition and it will be a very exciting matchup."
The trip to the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational and quest for the Wayne Duke Championship Trophy will be the third in program history, following up a second place finish in 1991 and a sixth place showing in 2005. Arkansas and California have meet just one time, which also happened to be in Hawaii at the 1986 Rainbow Classic when the Razorbacks defeated the Bears, 74-58, in Honolulu.
California is coming off its fourth NCAA Tournament appearance in the last five years under head coach Mike Montgomery. The Bears' 21-win campaign in 2012-13 was highlighted by a NCAA second round victory over UNLV. The Bears return five of their top seven scorers, but lost 2013 Pac-12 Player of the Year Allen Crabbe, who was selected in the second round of last month's NBA Draft.
Arkansas is 3-3 all-time at the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational and will take on either Syracuse or Minnesota in its second game on Nov. 26. The Razorbacks defeated Minnesota in their first-ever appearance at the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational in 1991. Both Syracuse and Minnesota advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 2013, with the Orange marching to the Final Four.
Fans are encouraged to follow @RazorbackMBB and @EASPORTSMauiInv on twitter for breaking news on the tournament. Ticket and travel packages for the Championship Round of the 2013 EA SPORTS Maui Invitational are available by calling Premiere Global Sports, the travel provider for Razorback fans (888-697-8550) or by visiting their website www.RazorbackSportsTravel.com. Fans may also get information about the event at www.MauiInvitational.com.
Also announced during the bracket unveiling was an opening round home game for seven of the Championship Round schools. Arkansas will host Louisiana at Bud Walton Arena on Friday, November 15. A time will be released at a later date.