Asheville, North Carolina is not Maui, but perhaps still better than Indiana in November?
According to a report by CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein, the annual event in Hawaii might be moving more than 4,500 miles east.
Source: The 2020 Maui Invitational is considering Harrah's Cherokee Center in Asheville, North Carolina as a potential location.
Field includes North Carolina, Indiana, Alabama, Texas, Stanford, Providence, UNLV, and Davidson. https://t.co/2MIfJUHgfI
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) September 3, 2020
If the event has in fact found a new home on the mainland, organizers will still have at least one additional complicating factor to contend with.
The PAC-12 conference has canceled all athletics until January 1, meaning Stanford would not be allowed to participate unless the league walks back that decision.
The Maui Invitational was scheduled to begin on Nov. 23, but it is unclear whether that date would hold up in Asheville. There is a growing movement in college basketball to start the season on Nov. 25.
As it stands, Alabama, Davidson, Indiana, North Carolina, Providence, Stanford, Texas and UNLV are scheduled to play in the 37th annual Tournament, wherever it is held.
Although the event may be held in the Tar Heel State, don’t expect any meaningful advantage to be gained by local schools Davidson and North Carolina. The event may proceed without fans. If a small amount of fans are permitted, presumably those tickets would be allocated evenly among the schools.
Indiana will make its seventh Maui Jim Maui Invitational appearance (1990, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2008, 2015). Indiana holds an 11-8 all-time record in the Tournament.
The Hoosiers will be seeking their second Tournament championship title, with the first coming in 2002.
The programs participating in 2020 boast a combined six Tournament titles, led by North Carolina’s four championships.
Providence owns the first-ever Tournament championship from 1984; both the Friars and the Davidson Wildcats were members of the inaugural Tournament field.
Indiana, North Carolina, and Texas rank in the top-20 all-time winningest programs. Davidson, Indiana, North Carolina, Providence, and Texas each own at least two NCAA Tournament appearances since 2015.
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