Nine teams participating in the 2016 or 2017 Maui Jim Maui Invitational earned NCAA Tournament berths, it was revealed by the NCAA Selection Committee on Sunday.
The champions in Maui last November, the North Carolina Tar Heels earned a No. 1 seed for the second straight year and 16th time in program history. It marks the 12th time a team that participated in Maui to start the year earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament at the end of the season. Each of North Carolina’s last two NCAA championships (2005, 2009) came in years which the Tar Heels claimed the title in Maui to begin the season.
Also earning bids from the 2016 field were Oklahoma State, Oregon and Wisconsin, which each went 2-1 in Maui. It marks the seventh time in the last eight years four or more teams that participated in Maui in November earned NCAA Tournament berths later in the season.
The teams from the 2017 field are also highly regarded with five programs heading to NCAA Tournament play, including Marquette, Michigan, Notre Dame, VCU and Wichita State.
Continuing the Maui Jim Maui Invitational’s tradition of featuring championship caliber teams, three squads from the 2016 and 2017 Maui Jim Maui Invitational fields secured their conference’s respective regular-season titles, including North Carolina (ACC), Oregon (Pac-12) and Wichita State (Missouri Valley). The Shockers, along with fellow 2017 participant Michigan (Big Ten), claimed their conference tournament titles. In addition, four others advanced to their conference’s tournament championship game, including Notre Dame (ACC), VCU (A-10), Oregon (Pac-12) and Wisconsin (Big Ten).
Since the inception of the Maui Jim Maui Invitational, 122 teams that started the season on the island have earned berths in the NCAA Tournament. In each of the last six years, one or more Maui squads have advanced to at least the Elite Eight.
Through ESPN’s Tournament Challenge, fans can fill out their brackets and have a chance to win a trip to the 2017 Maui Jim Maui Invitational. Information and rules can be found on ESPN.com.
Details about the 2016 and 2017 Maui Jim Maui Invitational programs selected to the NCAA Tournament can be found below.
North Carolina Tar Heels (27-7 overall, 14-4 ACC)
- No. 1 seed in the South Region and will face Texas Southern on Friday
- Earned their 16th No. 1 seed in program history, the most in NCAA history
- Will make their 48th all-time NCAA Tournament appearance
- Secured their 31st ACC regular season championship, and second consecutive
- Won their fourth Maui Jim Maui Invitational title last November
- Each of its last two national championships (2005, 2009) came after going 3-0 in Maui earlier in the season
- Will be making its 48th NCAA Tournament appearance, the second most in NCAA history
Oklahoma State Cowboys (20-12 overall, 9-9 Big 12)
- No. 10 seed in the Midwest Region and will face 2017 Maui Jim Maui Invitational participant Michigan on Friday
- Secured their 28th overall NCAA Tournament berth, and fourth in the last five season
- Went 2-1 at the Maui Jim Maui Invitational, securing a third-place finish
- Jawun Evans, a first-team All-Big 12 performer, was named to the Maui Jim Maui Invitational All-Tournament Team
Oregon Ducks (29-5 overall, 16-2 Pac-12)
- No. 3 seed in the Midwest Region and will face Iona on Friday
- Makes their 15th NCAA Tournament appearance, and fifth consecutive under coach Dana Altman
- Notched 20 or more wins in each of Altman’s seven seasons with the Ducks, including three straight years with at least 25 victories
- For the second straight year, won the Pac-12 regular season championship
- Advanced to the championship game of the Pac-12 Tournament
- Went 2-1 at the Maui Jim Maui Invitational
Wisconsin Badgers (25-9 overall, 12-6 Big Ten)
- No. 8 seed in the East Region and will face Virginia Tech on Thursday
- Will make their 23rd all-time NCAA Tournament appearance
- Has made 19 consecutive NCAA Tournament berths, tied for the fifth-longest streak in NCAA history and fourth-longest active streak
- Advanced to the Big Ten Tournament championship game
- Went 2-1 in Maui this past year, finishing as runner-up
- Ethan Happ, who was an All-Tournament Team performer in Maui, was named a first-team All-Big Ten performer
Marquette Golden Eagles (19-12 overall, 10-8 Big East)
- No. 10 seed in the East Region and will face South Carolina on Friday
- Will make their 32nd all-time NCAA Tournament appearance
- Newcomer Markus Howard was named to the Big East All-Freshman Team and junior Andrew Rowsey earned the conference’s Sixth Man Award
- Head Coach Steve Wojciechowski played in the Maui Jim Maui Invitational with Duke in 1997
Michigan Wolverines (24-11 overall, 10-8 Big Ten)
- No. 7 seed in the Midwest Region and will face 2016 Maui Jim Maui Invitational participant Oklahoma State on Friday
- Will make their 23rd all-time NCAA Tournament appearance
- Has won 20 or more games in seven of head coach John Beilein’s 10 seasons with the Wolverines
- Claimed their second Big Ten Tournament Championship, having last won the event in 1998
Notre Dame Fighting Irish (25-9 overall, 12-6 ACC)
- No. 5 seed in the West Region and will face Princeton on Thursday
- Will make their 36th all-time NCAA Tournament appearance
- Advanced to the ACC Tournament championship game
- Recorded 25 or more games four times in the last seven seasons
VCU Rams (26-8 overall, 14-4 A-10)
- No. 10 seed in the West Region and will face Saint Mary’s on Thursday
- Will make their 16th all-time NCAA Tournament appearance, and seventh straight to continue the longest consecutive streak in program history
- Advanced to the A-10 Tournament championship game
- Reached 25 or more victories in each of the last eight seasons
Wichita State (30-4 overall, 17-1 Missouri Valley)
- No. 10 seed in the South Region and will face Dayton on Friday
- Will make their 14th all-time NCAA Tournament appearance, including each of the last six seasons under Gregg Marshall
- Won the Missouri Valley regular season and tournament championships
- Reached the 30-wins mark for the fourth time in the last five seasons
- Tied for the third most wins (207) in the nation since the start of the 2010-11 season