San Diego, California - The San Diego State men’s basketball team will face Duke in its first game of the Maui Jim Maui Invitational. SDSU will face the Blue Devils on Monday, November 19, inside Lahaina Civic Center at noon HT/2 p.m. PT on ESPN2.
“We are excited to return to the premier college basketball tournament in the country, the Maui Invitational,” head coach Brian Dutcher said. “This year’s field is one of the best in recent memory and will test us as we prepare for the rigors of the Mountain West. We fell two points short in our quest to win the tournament back in 2014 and are looking forward to competing this season against some of the best teams in the nation.”
The Aztecs, depending on their quarterfinal outcome, will face either Auburn or Xavier, which will take place on Nov. 19 at 9:30 a.m. HT/11:30 a.m. PT. On the other side of the bracket, Arizona will go toe-to-toe with Iowa State at 4 p.m. HT/6 p.m. PT with Gonzaga and Illinois closing out first-day action at 6:30 p.m. HT/8:30 p.m. PT.
SDSU will be making its fourth trip to the annual tournament and first since 2014 when it advanced to the aforementioned championship game. That season, the Aztecs defeated Brigham Young and Pittsburgh before falling to Arizona. San Diego State owns a 5-4 lifetime record in Maui.
The Aztecs have a history of performing well at in-season tournaments. Since 2008-09, SDSU is 15-3 in 8-team non-conference events, advancing to the title game six straight times.
The San Diego State-Duke matchup will be the third in the all-time series with the Blue Devils emerging victorious the previous two meetings. The schools last shared the hardwood in Charlotte, North Carolina in round of 32 at the 2015 NCAA tournament.
Dutcher has been on the sideline as an assistant coach for a number of clashes against the Blue Devils. The second-year head coach has been on the winning end of those games four times, but has yet to defeat Duke in two tries while with the Aztecs.
SDSU has recently seen some of the other teams in the field, having defeated Gonzaga at Viejas Arena last year in the final game of a home-and-home series. The Wildcats have been a frequent opponent as well as the two teams last met in Maui, which was fifth meeting in five seasons. As for the rest of the field, the Aztecs are 2-3 vs. Iowa State and 0-1 vs. Illinois, and have never played Auburn or Xavier.
San Diego State is set to return three of their top four scorers from last season (Devin Watson, Matt Mitchell, Jalen McDaniels) and four of their top six (Watson, Mitchell, McDaniels, Jeremy Hemsley) off a 2017-18 team that went 22-11, won their Mountain West-high 11th conference title and advanced to the NCAA tournament.