North Carolina and Oregon, which participated in the 2016 Maui Jim Maui Invitational, square off in the national semifinals on Saturday night. In addition, Gonzaga, a 2018 Maui Jim Maui Invitational participant, will also compete in the Final Four on Saturday.
Below, you will find some details that can assist in your preview coverage of the Final Four this weekend.
Two Maui Jim Maui Invitational Teams in the Final Four
* North Carolina and Oregon both participated at the 2016 Maui Jim Maui Invitational, but did not play each other.
* The team’s last matchup came in the 2008 Maui Jim Maui Invitational semifinals, a contest won by North Carolina. The Tar Heels are 4-0 all-time against the Ducks
* North Carolina and Oregon are the 17th and 18th programs to reach the Final Four after starting their seasons at the Maui Jim Maui Invitational.
* The matchup between North Carolina and Oregon guarantees that a 2016 Maui Jim Maui Invitational squad will play for the national championship. It is the 10th time that a team started their season in Maui and ended it by playing for the national championship.
* It is the fifth time that two teams that played at the Maui Jim Maui Invitational to begin the season advanced to the Final Four at year’s end:
* 1999-00: Florida (National Runner-up) and North Carolina (National Semifinalist)
* 2000-01: Arizona (National Runner-up) and Maryland (National Semifinalist)
* 2004-05: Louisville (National Runner-up) and North Carolina (Champion)
* 2010-11: Kentucky (National Semifinalist) and UConn (Champion)
North Carolina Hoping History Repeats
* The Tar Heels won the Maui Jim Maui invitational last November with wins over Chaminade, Oklahoma State and Wisconsin
* The last two times North Carolina won the national championship (2005, 2009), the Tar Heels took home the title in Maui earlier in the season.
* It is the fourth time North Carolina has advanced to the Final Four after winning the Maui Jim Maui Invitational earlier in the year, having previously accomplished the feat in the 1999-00, 2004-05 and 2008-09 season.
* Should the Tar Heels win the national championship, they would become the fifth team to win the Maui Jim Maui Invitational and the NCAA Tournament in the same season:
* Michigan in 1988-89
* North Carolina in 2004-05 and 2008-09
* UConn in 2010-11
Oregon’s Wait is Over
* Oregon went 2-1 at the Maui Jim Maui Invitational, earning wins over Tennessee and UConn.
* On their way to the Final Four, the Ducks knocked off 2015 Maui Jim Maui Invitational champion Kansas in the Elite Eight and 2017 participant Michigan in the Sweet 16. After it faces North Carolina, Oregon will have faced three straight teams with Maui Jim Maui Invitational ties.
* Should Oregon face Gonzaga on Monday night for the national championship, the Ducks would play their final four games of the NCAA Tournament against teams from the 2015-2018 Maui Jim Maui Invitational fields.
* Should Oregon win its next two games, they would become the seventh team to win the NCAA Championship after competing in the Maui Jim Maui Invitational to begin the season.
* The Ducks are making their first appearance in the Final Four since 1939, also the last time they won the national championship.