[BASKETBALL] It seems like just yesterday Connecticut narrowly
defeated crowd favorite Gonzaga in the finals at the 2005 EA SPORTS
Maui Invitational, which was arguably the most exciting tournament in
the event’s 21-year history. To celebrate the arrival of the 2006
Invitational, we offer a look inside the numbers of college
basketball’s most prestigious preseason event:
2,400—Seats at the Lahaina
Civic Center, creating the intimate nature of the tournament (not to
mention the scarcity of available tickets).
18—Combined NCAA titles won by 2006 invitees UCLA and Kentucky.
1—Former Invitational champions (Kentucky, 1993) competing this year.
12—Tournament games (the entire tournament, for the second straight year) being televised by ESPN.
4—2006 Invitational teams ranked in the preseason top 25: UCLA (6), Memphis (14), Kentucky (22), and Georgia Tech (23).
visitors attending the tournament (responsible for an estimated
$12,000,000 annual contribution to Maui’s economy).
43—Points scored by
Gonzaga’s Adam Morrison against Michigan State last year, a single-game
7—2006 tournament games
already sold out. For tickets to the remaining five, try online at
www.mauiinvitational.com, or by calling (808)667-DUNK (3865) or
stopping by the tournament’s on-site box office. [COREY NIELSEN]