UNITED STATES—UCLA men’s basketball team learned on Monday, July 27, what it will take to win the 2015 Maui Invitational Tournament this November.
The Bruins, fresh off a Sweet 16 appearance last season and ranked No. 22 in the College Basketball Talk‘s Way-Too-Early Preseason Top 25 rankings, are on the same side of the bracket as UNLV and Kansas, according to ESPN’s Andy Katz, and will have to beat both squads to get to the tournament final.
Head Coach Steve Alford’s squad, led by U.S. under-19 gold-medal winner, Thomas Welsh, will play UNLV first in hopes of a win to set-up a bracket final between the tournament favorite, Perry Ellis and Co.
Besides Ellis, the Jayhawks return Frank Mason, Wayne Selden and add power forward Cheick Diallo.
The opposite side of the bracket has Preseason Top 20, Indiana, St. John’s and Vanderbilt. The Hoosiers return their core players, including point guard Yogi Ferrell, and adds top center Thomas Bryant.
Indiana will play Wake Forest in the first round, while St. John’s and Vanderbilt square off to round out that side of the bracket.
New head coach Chris Mullin will be in the spotlight for the Red Storm throughout the tournament and the Commodores are expected to be one of the favorites to win an SEC title with the return of Damian Jones.
If UCLA can pull off multiple wins in Hawaii this season, it could be just what the program needs to fuel a conference championship season and a deeper run in this years NCAA Tournament.
Kansas, Indiana to anchor opposing sides of Maui Invitational bracket http://t.co/qE7sP0msk4
— Andy Katz (@TheAndyKatz) July 27, 2015
The Maui Invitational will be held from November 23-25 at the Lahaina Civic Center.