By R.L. Bynum
North Carolina’s men’s basketball team will reportedly be headed to the Maui Invitational in 2024, marking their ninth time in the event but first Hawaii visit since 2017. The Tar Heels have won the tournament four times, winning the national championship in three of those seasons.
Jon Rothstein of FanDuel reported that the field will also include Connecticut, Michigan State, Memphis, Iowa State, Colorado and Dayton, with the eighth team still to be determined.
Coach Hubert Davis also told Rothstein that UNC is scheduled to play in the 2023 Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden and that freshman Jalen Washington, recovering from an ACL injury, has been fully cleared for all basketball activities.
The last time the Tar Heels played in the Maui Invitational in 2020, it was held in Asheville and Carolina lost to Texas in the championship game 69–67.
UNC has a 20–4 overall record in the event. The Tar Heels played in the tournament in 1989, 1996, 2000, 2005, 2009, 2013, 2017 and 2020, first winning it in 1999. UNC won the national championships after winning the event in 2004, 2008 and 2016.
UNC beat Purdue 90–75 in the 1999 final, Iowa 106–92 in the 2004 final, Notre Dame 102–87 in the 2008 final and Wisconsin 71–56 in the 2016 final.
In addition to 2020, Carolina also lost in the championship game in 1989 (80–73 to Missouri) and 1995 (77–75 against Villanova).
Photo via Maui Invitational website