July 27, 2011

Bulldogs Join Strong Tournament Field In Hawaii

INDIANAPOLIS, IND. -- Butler will face an extremely challenging field when it makes its second visit to Hawaii in three years to compete in the 2012 EA Sports Maui Invitational.  The Bulldogs will be one of six teams from this past year’s NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship competing in the eight-team Maui tournament field in November of 2012.

Joining Butler in the 2012 tournament championship round in Hawaii will be three-time tournament champion North Carolina, Illinois, Marquette, Mississippi State, Texas, USC and host Chaminade.  North Carolina, Illinois, Marquette, Texas and USC each earned a berth in the 2011 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship.

In addition, four Division I teams to be announced later will participate in the 2012 Opening and Regional games, which is part of the tournament’s expansion beginning in 2011.  Each of the seven Maui-bound teams will have one Opening Game in its home arena in mid-November.  The Regional games will involve just the four mainland teams.

Butler will be making its fourth visit to Hawaii, but its first to the Maui Invitational.  The Bulldogs placed runner-up at both the 1997 Big Island Invitational and the 2002 Rainbow Classic, before capturing the Diamond Head Classic last season.  Butler went on to capture the Horizon League Men’s Basketball Championship title and advanced to the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship title game for the second consecutive year.

The EA Sports Maui Invitational is one of the premier events in college basketball.  In its 27-year history, the Maui Invitational has been host to schools that have won 62 of 73 NCAA Championships and squads that have captured 58 of 73 national runner-up finishes.  Schools that have competed in the Hawaiian tournament have accounted for 239 of 292 Final Four teams.