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Maui Invitational: Why 2021 tournament got moved to Las Vegas


For a second consecutive year, the marquee event of men’s college basketball’s nonconference slate has been relocated. After playing last season in a bubble in Asheville, N.C., the Maui Invitational welcomes fans back in 2021 but will do so on the mainland in Las Vegas due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions in Hawaii. One of the main people behind that decision was Tom Valdiserri, the Maui Invitational’s tournament operator through his role as an executive vice president at KemperLesnik.

Sports Illustrated sat down with Valdiserri to discuss the decision to move the tournament for a second straight year, the logistics of the late relocation and what this year’s Vegas-based event (which features Oregon, Houston, Notre Dame, Butler, Texas A&M, Wisconsin, St. Mary’s and Chaminade) will look like.





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