If you passed on taking a Thanksgiving trip to the Bahamas to watch the Kansas basketball team compete in a tournament and are regretting that decision, start planning now to work on the tan two Novembers from now.
Kansas is one of eight schools that will participate in the championship round of the 2015 Maui Classic, played in the cozy Lahaina Civic Center. The rest of the field, announced by the tournament Monday: Chaminade, the host school of the event since 1984, Indiana, St. John’s, UCLA, UNLV, Vanderbilt and Wake Forest.
KU last participated in the tourney in 2011, when it lost to Duke in the title game, 68-61. Other than Div. II host Chaminade, schools are only allowed to participate in the Maui Classic once in a four-year span.
The Jayhawks won the Maui Classic in 1996, defeating Virginia, 80-63, in the title game. Raef LaFrentz was named MVP.
KU is the favorite in the “Battle 4 Atlantis” tournament that starts Thanksgiving Day and runs through Saturday. KU’s first game, vs. Wake Forest on Thanksgiving, is scheduled to tip off at 2:30 p.m. CT.
Iowa, 23rd in the Associated Press poll, is the only other Top 25 team in the field. Three schools appear in “others receiving votes,” listed under the poll: 35. Villanova, 36. Xavier, 39 (tie). Tennessee.