It's time to clear your pre-Thanksgiving schedules, as Tuesday saw the schedule release of what has one of college basketball's most exciting preseason tournaments. The Maui Invitational kicks off on November 23rd, as Chris Mullin and St. John's face off against Vanderbilt (2:30 pm, ESPN2).
The tournament will run through November 25th, with four games scheduled for each day.
This year's field is not devoid of big name programs, as clashes between Wake Forest and Indiana (5 p.m., ESPN2), Kansas and Chaminade (9 pm, ESPN U), and UCLA and UNLV (11:30 pm, ESPN 2) round out the rest of the first round. See here for the official bracket.
Should St. John's move past an up-and-coming Vanderbilt team, it would set up a very intriguing matchup with an uber-talented Indiana squad. Not only would this be a nice early test for the Red Storm, but it would give Chris Mullin the chance to notch an early resume building victory.
The other side of the bracket is not without story lines, as a potential matchup between a Kansas and UCLA will have college basketball fans salivating more than any turkey come November.
Should St. John's win their first two games, they will play in the champion game on November 25th (Time TBD, ESPN). If they don't, they are still guaranteed to play three games, so you should probably just block off your schedule for all three days.
St. John's will also host UMBC on November 16th, which is technically part of the Opening Round of the Maui Invitational, although the result will have no effect on the eight teams in the on-island tournament.