Wildcats Draw DePaul in Maui Opener
The Kentucky men?s basketball team will take on the DePaul Blue Demons in the first round of the 2006 EA Sports Maui Invitational as announced by KemperSports, the Northbrook, Ill.-based sports marketing and events firm which has operated the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational since 1990.
Scheduled for Monday, November 20, the Wildcats and Blue Demons tip-off at 9:00 p.m. ET on ESPN2 with the winner set to take on the winner of the game between 2005 NCAA runner-up UCLA and host school Chaminade.
"Maui is one of the premiere events in college basketball,? said Kentucky head coach Tubby Smith. ?With a field this strong, every match-up is going to be competitive. DePaul presents another early-season challenge that we'll have to make sure our club is prepared for. We are looking forward to getting to the island."
Kentucky and DePaul have met 20 times through the years with the ?Cats owning a 17-3 advantage in the series. It?s been a while since the two teams squared off though, with the last meeting coming in 1971, a 106-85 victory by the Wildcats in the ?71 UKIT.
Kentucky has posted an all-time record of 7-2 in the Maui Invitational, including a championship in 1993. The Wildcats? last appearance in the island based tournament came in the 2002-03 season when the team posted a 2-1 record.
First round match-ups include Oklahoma-Memphis (2:30 p.m., ESPN2), Purdue-Georgia Tech (5:00 p.m., ESPN2), Kentucky-DePaul (9:00 p.m., ESPN2) and Chaminade-UCLA (11:30 p.m., ESPN2) with each team vying for an opportunity to join an elite list of Maui Invitational Champions over the last six years which includes Connecticut (2005), North Carolina (2004), Dayton (2003), Indiana (2002), Duke (2001) and Arizona (2000).
For the second consecutive year, ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPNU, the 24-hour college sports network that debuted in 2005, will combine to offer live television coverage of all 12 tournament games.