The Notre Dame men’s basketball team announced they will participate in the 2021 Maui Invitational. Mike Brey back in a Hawaiian shirt? Count me in!
The 2017 Maui Invitational Champs haven’t been back since winning the tournament that year. With that being said the Notre Dame men’s basketball team has had a couple of down seasons. The hope is that this upcoming season the Fighting Irish return to old form and can compete with the big dogs. Additionally, Notre Dame will have to wait another full season until making their return to the Maui Invitational.
As previously mentioned, the Irish last participated in the Maui Invitational in 2017, where they ended up winning the whole thing. They defeated the Wichita State Shockers beating them 67- 66 to take the title. Notre Dame’s other games in the tournament include a couple of blowouts defeating Chaminade 83 – 56 and LSU 92- 53.
Something else that was talked about quite a bit between both Notre Dame fans and college basketball fans as a whole was Mike Brey — who normally, like most college basketball coaches is clean-shaven and in a suit — appearing very casual and laid back during the tournament, rocking a Hawaiian shirt and even sporting a beard.
With the Irish having a rough past couple of seasons, finishing 14 – 19 in the 2018-2019 season and an improved 2019-2020 season, finishing 20 – 12 but having quite a few close losses, which would have more than likely prevented them from getting into the NCAA tournament. As well as a 2017-2018 season that was set to be a strong one, but tarnished by injuries.
By the time the 2021 – 2022 season rolls around the Irish should be a strong team, hopefully being able to compete for an ACC title and make another strong run in the NCAA tournament. That could just be seen as wishful thinking and I agree, so we will just have to wait and see how things play out. The Irish will be boasting a veteran-heavy team lead by Cormac Ryan, Prentiss Hubb, Nate Laszewski, and Dane Goodwin. Along with the somewhat unproven Robby Carmody, who has missed the majority of the past two seasons due to injury. They could also be joined by another new face or two by way of transfers/grad-transfers, which is something else for Irish fans to keep an eye on.
Per CBS Sports Insider Jon Rothstein, other teams competing in the 2021 Maui Invitational include Wisconsin, Oregon, Texas A&M, Butler, Houston, Saint Mary’s, and Chaminade. This is a pool full of some great teams and will offer a lot of competition for the Irish.