The Maui Invitaitional, the top tournament of the early part of holiday week hoops, opened up yesterday. Here's a brief rundown on the four games--
*Maryland beat Chaminade 79-51, but Greivis Vazquez only scored six points in 22 minutes. The guard can be very up-and-down, based on whether or not he's hitting some of his wild shots. The Terps will need him the next two nights if they are to win this tournament, something that I would expect them to do.
*Cincinnati's 67-58 win over Vanderbilt came thanks to a huge rebounding edge, 45-27. Yancy Gates scored 16 and grabbed 10 rebounds, and Dion Dixon came off the bench to crash the glass from the backcourt, to the tune of another ten boards. It was enough to negate a significant Commodore edge from the free-throw line.
*Gonzaga rallied in the second half to survive Colorado 76-72 thanks to
their own edge from the charity stripe, and the Buffs weren't as lucky as Cincinnati when it came to ways to offset the edge. The Zags star was guard Steven Gray, who scored 27 points. 11 of them came from the line. This doesn't look like a vintage year for Gonzaga and struggling with Colorado like this would seem to back that up early on.
*Wisconsin-Arizona was a clash between free throws and turnovers. Arizona beat UW 26-17 in free throw points, an area the Badgers are accustomed to enjoying a big advantage on. But the Wildcats turned it over 14 times and Wisconsin prevailed 65-61.
Outside the beaches of Hawaii, the biggest game was Tennessee-Purdue in the final of the Paradise Jam Classic from the Virgin Islands. The Boilermakers pulled out a one-point win, with guard E'Twaun Moore and forward Robbie Hummell each breaking the 20-point barrier. Both teams have high hopes for the season ahead and they staged a great November show for
college basketball fans.
Maui coverage and more from around the country comes back tomorrow. Maryland-Cincy & Wisconsin-Gonzaga in the semis, with the other four teams continuing play in the consolation bracket.