The 2017 Maui Invitational Bracket has been set, and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, along with other powerhouse programs like the Wichita State Shockers, the Michigan Wolverines and the California Bears will headline the tournament set to commence on November 20th 2017.
Notre Dame’s first game in Maui will be against the host Chaminade Silverswords, with a matchup with either the LSU Tigers or Michigan to follow, depending on a first round win or loss.
While Notre Dame, Chaminade, LSU and Michigan take up the bottom half of the bracket, the top half will consist of the Marquette Golden Eagles, Virginia Commonwealth Rams, California and Wichita State.
This is Notre Dame’s first Maui Invitational since 2008, which saw the Irish knock off the Indiana Hoosiers and the Texas Longhorns, before losing to the North Carolina Tar Heels in the finals.
On paper, it could be assumed that the Irish will take care of Chaminade with ease before squaring off with Michigan. LSU isn’t expected to have a great year, but is under new leadership with former VCU Head Coach Will Wade heading down south to try and rebuild the Tigers. The program may suffer through some growing pains in their first year with Wade at the helm.
Michigan is always a tough matchup and were a serious contender late last season with their deep NCAA Tournament run.
While they did lose key players such as D.J. Wilson, Zak Irvin and Derrick Walton Jr., there is something about the Wolverines that makes you feel uneasy heading into every game.
They are one of the few schools that, regardless of their performance in the past year or how many players they have lost, you can never count them out.
With the talent the Irish have on their roster, it is not out of the question to expect a run to the finals. Should that happen, expect the Irish to take on the annual NCAA Tournament dark horse, Wichita State.
But we have got a long way to go before the event tips off. So, until then, we will keep speculating.
– R. Scarfone