Why is the Maui Invitational in Las Vegas? Full TV schedule, bracket for 2021 NCAA basketball tournament

The 2021 Maui Invitational begins on Monday, Nov. 22 and runs through Wednesday, Nov. 24. However, this year’s tournament is ironically not taking place in Maui.

For the second year in a row, Maui will not host the Maui Invitational due to Hawaii’s COVID-19 travel restrictions and protocols. This year, Las Vegas will host the tournament at the Michelob Ultra Arena at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. 

There are eight teams competing at the tournament, which include Butler, Houston, Notre Dame, Oregon, Saint Mary’s (CA), Texas A&M, Wisconsin and Chaminade. Chaminade is a Division II school that has played at the Maui Invitational every year since 2018. Going forward, they will participate in the tournament every odd year, including this year. The reigning champion, Texas, and runner-up, North Carolina, will not be participating in this year’s tournament.

Here’s everything you need to know about the Maui Invitational, including a detailed bracket and schedule to know how to watch the tournament.

MORE: Watch Maui Invitational games live with fuboTV (7-day free trial)

Why is the Maui Invitational in Las Vegas?

This will be the second year in a row that the Maui Invitational has not taken place in Hawaii due to COVID-19 restrictions. Last year, the tournament was held in North Carolina because of travel restrictions. However, the mayor of Maui, Michael Victorino, said that North Carolina was not Maui-like enough for the tournament, so this year they chose Las Vegas since the location is closer in proximity to Maui than North Carolina. 

There are still various travel restrictions in place for travelers heading to Hawaii, and tournament directors said they didn’t want to worry about any possibility of the tournament being canceled. For example, Hawaii requires a vaccination card and/or a negative COVID-19 test to enter the state. If a player, or players, weren’t able to provide this, then it would put the tournament at risk. You can look at Hawaii’s travel restrictions here. 

Maui Invitational bracket 2021

(Maui Invitational)

Round 1

Game 1: Texas A&M vs. No. 15 Wisconsin
Game 2: Butler vs. Houston
Game 3: No. 12 Oregon vs. Chaminade
Game 4: St. Mary’s vs. Notre Dame

Round 2

Game 5: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2
Game 6: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2
Game 7: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4
Game 8: Loser Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4

Round 3

Third place: Loser Game 6 vs. Loser Game 7
Championship: Winner Game 6 vs. Winner Game 7
Seventh place: Loser Game Game 5 vs. Loser Game 8
Fifth place: Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 8

How to watch the 2021 Maui Invitational

  • Dates: Nov. 22-24, 2021
  • TV channels: ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU
  • Live streams: ESPN App | fuboTV

The Maui Invitational begins on Monday, Nov. 22 and runs through Wednesday, Nov. 24. Games 1, 2 and 4 on Monday will be shown on ESPN2, while Game 3 will be shown on ESPNU. On Tuesday, Game 5 will be on ESPN, while Games 6 and 7 will be on ESPN. Game 8 will be on ESPNU. The championship game on Wednesday will be on ESPN. 

Viewers can stream the games on the ESPN App, which requires a cable subscription log in. You can also stream all the Maui Invitational games live with fuboTV, which offers a seven-day free trial.

Maui Invitational schedule

Here’s a list of the scheduled games, along with the times and TV channels for every game:

Game Date Matchup Time (ET) TV Channel
1 Nov. 22 Texas A&M vs. Wisconsin 2:00 p.m. ESPN2
2 Nov. 22 Butler vs. Houston 4:30 p.m. ESPN2
3 Nov. 22 Oregon vs. Chaminade 9:00 p.m. ESPNU
4 Nov. 22 St. Mary’s vs. Notre Dame 11:30 p.m. ESPN2
5 Nov. 23 Game 1 Loser vs. Game 2 Loser 2:30 p.m. ESPN2
6 Nov. 23 Game 1 Winner vs. Game 2 Winner 5:00 p.m. ESPN
7 Nov. 23 Game 3 Winner vs. Game 4 Winner 8:00 p.m. ESPN
8 Nov. 23 Game 3 Loser vs. Game 4 Loser 10:30 p.m. ESPNU
9 Nov. 24 Game 6 Loser vs. Game 7 Loser (Third Place) 2:30 p.m. ESPN2
10 Nov. 24 Game 6 Winner vs. Game 7 Winner (Championship) 5:00 p.m. ESPN
11 Nov. 24 Game 5 Loser vs. Game 8 Loser (Seventh Place) 9:00 p.m. ESPNU
12 Nov. 24 Game 5 Winner vs. Game 8 Winner (Fifth Place) 11:30 p.m. ESPN2

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