Tigers Tough Tests in Maui Basketball Classic


MAUI, Hawaii - For several months, the University of Memphis basketball team has been ticketed for the 2006 EA SPORTS Maui Invitational. Now, the Tigers know when and who they will play in the prestigious tournament's first round, as the 23rd-annual EA SPORTS Maui Invitational pairings were announced Thursday.

Memphis is scheduled to tip off tournament play against Oklahoma, a 2006 NCAA Tournament participant, at 1:30 p.m. (CT)/9:30 a.m. (Hawaii time). ESPN2 will televise the Tiger-Sooner match-up, which is the first contest of the 2006 EA SPORTS Maui Invitational.

The Tigers have a perfect 4-0 record against Oklahoma, including the 63-61 victory over the Sooners in the 1985 NCAA Tournament Midwest Regional final that propelled Memphis to the Final Four. The last time the two programs met was in the 1997-98 season, and the Tigers posted an 80-78 win in Norman, Okla. In that game, Marcus Moody scored a career-high 41 points to lead Memphis to victory. Moody's 41-point performance was the sixth-highest for a game in school history.

The 2006 EA SPORTS Maui Invitational field is comprised of four 2006 NCAA Tournament teams, including Memphis (Elite Eight). The other three teams are Kentucky (second round), Oklahoma (first round) and UCLA (national runner-up).

The other pairing on the Tigers' side of the bracket has Purdue meeting Georgia Tech. The other bracket has Kentucky facing DePaul and UCLA meeting host Chaminade.

This is the Tigers' fourth all-time appearance in the Maui Invitational, as they previously participated in 1988, 1992 and 1999. Memphis has an all-time Maui Invitational record of 4-5, and has advanced to the tournament's semifinals twice in 1988 and 1992. The Tigers best finish in the Maui Invitational was a third-place showing in 1992.

Memphis returns two starters and 11 letterwinners from its 2005-06 squad that won a school-record 33 games (33-4 mark). The Tigers won both the Conference USA regular season and tournament titles, and earned the program's first-ever NCAA Tournament No. 1 seed. Memphis advanced to the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight, falling to UCLA in the Oakland Regional title game.

2006 EA SPORTS Maui Invitational (All Times Central)

Monday, Nov. 20

Game One - Memphis vs. Oklahoma, 1:30 pm (ESPN2)

Game Two - Georgia Tech vs. Purdue, 4 pm (ESPN2)

Game Three - Kentucky vs. DePaul, 8 pm (ESPN2)

Game Four - UCLA vs. Chaminade, 10:30 pm (ESPN2)

Tuesday, Nov. 21

Game Five - Game One loser vs. Game Two loser, 12:30 pm (ESPNU)

Game Six - Game Three loser vs. Game Four loser, 3 pm (ESPNU)

Game Seven - Game One winner vs. Game Two winner, 6 pm (ESPN)

Game Eight - Game Three winner vs. Game Four winner, 8:30 pm (ESPN)

Wednesday, Nov. 22

Fifth-Place Game, 1 pm (ESPNU)

Third-Place Game, 3:30 pm (ESPN2)

Seventh-Place Game, 6:30 pm (ESPNU)

Championship Game, 9 pm (ESPN)