Considering how rough the last few seasons have been, it’s pretty wild to remember that less than 4 years ago, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish men’s basketball team won the 2017 Maui Jim Maui Invitational in an exciting come-from-behind, last-second victory over the Wichita State Shockers after dominating Chaminade and LSU prior to the championship game.
The Maui champion is always invited back 4 years later, and so the Fighting Irish will return to Hawaii this November for their 4th Maui Invitational appearance, also appearing in 1993 and 2008 to go along with their 2017 title run.
This year, they will be joined by Texas A&M, Wisconsin, Butler, Houston, Oregon, St. Mary’s, and Chaminade in the tournament field.
Today, it was announced who their first opponent will be — the St. Mary’s Gaels.
Notre Dame and St. Mary’s will be meeting for the third time ever, and it will be the first game between the two schools in 40 years.
St. Mary’s came to Purcell Pavilion in 1981, losing by 31 to the Irish. The other matchup in the history of these two programs came way back in 1949, when ND traveled to San Francisco to play at the “Cow Palace.” Notre Dame won that won in a much closer 70-66 contest.
The winner of the Notre Dame/St. Mary’s opening round matchup will face the winner of Oregon and Chaminade on November 23rd at 3 PM local time. (8 PM ET).
The losers of the two first-round games will play next on November 23rd as well, at 5:30 PM local time (10:30 PM ET). See below for the full tournament bracket!