Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Hawaiian shirts, big games and tropical drinks with tiny umbrellas: It's the Maui Invitational!

Been having a hard time getting into the young college basketball season; with so much important football being played, the only hardwood we're interested in is that in our right hand. (Zing! Hey-o! Yahtzee!)

But, jeez, gonna be some pretty good games today in Maui. We're in the semis of the tournament and No. 6 Texas and No. 8 Notre Dame tipoff at 4 p.m. Pacific while top-ranked UNC and Oregon will play in the nightcap.

We're not sure why non-conference college basketball doesn't get the same love as non-conference college football. Probably has to do with a lot of other sports going on right now (CFB, NFL, NBA action) while those big non-conference college football showdowns happen in the slower part of the year.

But a main reason, too, is that a loss ain't so bad in college hoops. If Notre Dame gets tagged with a loss in November, not gonna be a big deal come March. Whereas Ohio State was dismissed pretty early from the BCS championship discussion after dropping the soap against USC. Would a college football playoff take some meaning away from those marquee non-conference showdowns?

Year after year Maui brings out the big boys. Love it. Big-time hoops before Thanksgiving. Enjoy it.

Can UNC be stopped -- even with Tyler Hansbrough less than 100% (if at all) and Tyler Zeller out? Will Texas give reason to be a trendy Final Four pick? Will Luke Harangody steal the stage? Or will this finally be Chaminade's year? Oh.

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