The Maui Invitational in conjunction with ESPN.com announced the bracket for the 2012 tournament this morning. Marquette and Butler will open the tournament up on Monday, November 19th at 2:30pm Central time on ESPN2.
To the important info!
2011-12 Record: 22-15
2011-12 Conference Record: 11-7 (tied for third in the Horizon League)
Final KenPom.com ranking: 110
And a quick preview from GoMarquette.com:
Although having faced each other on 27 occasions all-time, Butler and Marquette have not met since 1991. After making back-to-back appearances in the national championship game, the Bulldogs took a step back last season by playing in the College Basketball Invitational where they lost to Pittsburgh in the tournament semifinal.
The Bulldogs lose senior Ronald Nored while welcoming Arkansas-transfer Rotnei Clarke, one of the best long-range shooters in the nation during his time with the Razorbacks.
Hit the jump for more about the Maui Invitational!
Marquette's second game in Maui will be against either Mississippi State or North Carolina, as the Marquette-Butler game is paired with that game on the top half of the bracket. You can see the full bracket here.
ESPN.com's Robbi Pickeral highlights Vander Blue as one of five players to watch, saying this about the junior guard:
It’s hard to get a whole lot of attention when you’re in a starting lineup with guys like Jae Crowder and Darius Johnson-Odom. But now that they’re gone to the NBA, the Golden Eagles need the junior to improve upon his 8.4 points and 4.4 rebounds from last season.
All of ESPN.com's analysts are picking North Carolina over Texas in the final, except for Eamonn Brennan, who has picked Butler to beat Texas.