When it comes to the NCAA Basketball non-conference tournaments, none has consistently been bigger than the Maui Invitational. Located in Hawaii, the great backdrop has included some memorable moments, thanks to the annual stacked fields that are included.
Almost always, there are at least 3-4 ranked programs in the field each year, whether from the preseason AP rankings or by the time the Maui Invitational starts. There also has been a change to the format, as Chaminade, the D-II program that hosts the event, now plays every other year.
The Silverswords will be included for the 2023 edition, which features arguably the best-ever field from top to bottom among the D-I programs. Among them includes a pair of “blue bloods” (Kansas and UCLA), three of the winningest programs of the past decade (Gonzaga, Purdue, and Tennessee), as well as Marquette, coming off a 29-win past season. And don’t discount Syracuse, a program that’s one of the more intriguing teams to watch after moving on from Hall of Fame head coach, Jim Boeheim.
The bracket for the event has come out, with some juicy first-round matchups to watch for, led by Purdue vs Gonzaga. But who are the favorites in the Maui Invitational based on how the rosters look this offseason?
Obviously, Chaminade is No. 8 on this list but they’ve pulled off upsets in the past so don’t completely overlook them. Still, the other seven teams are just a notch above them. Here’s a look at how I would rank each of them.