The 2018 Maui Invitational field was announced on Wednesday, and Gonzaga will make a return trip to one of the premier non-conference tournaments. It also happens to be one of the most stacked fields to date for the invitational.
Gonzaga will join Arizona, Auburn, Duke, Illinois, Iowa State, San Diego State and Xavier at Maui’s Lahaina Civic Center.
Also, for the first time that year, Chaminade will not be playing in the tournament. On even years, it will be eight Division I schools, with Chaminade playing a game in the opening round on the mainland. On odd years, it will be back to the original format with Chaminade competing in the Championship Round.
"Our fields always showcase the best in college basketball, and 2018 will be as strong as we've ever had," says tournament chairman Dave Odom.
This is a stellar invite for the Bulldogs, who will get a brutal slate of competition in this tournament. Duke has won the invitational five times, and Arizona has won it three times.
The Zags have had up and down years in the invitational. In 2013, a then No. 11 ranked Gonzaga squad was bounced by Dayton in the first game. They would later defeat Arkansas to take fifth-place in the tournament.
Prior to that, the Zags won the 2009 Maui Invitational, squeaking out wins against Colorado, WIsconsin, and Cincinnati in the process. Matt Bouldin and Steven Gray were named co-MVPs in that tournament.