This year’s Maui Invitational was all about defying expectations, so it’s only fitting that Illinois went against that grain by winning the title game… as the favorite. The Illini and their sharp-shooting backcourt gunned down Butler, 78-61, to earn a huge early-season victory.
Of course, Illinois’s title was only one of the monster storylines to come out of a tournament that also featured No. 9 North Carolina falling to an unranked team and Texas getting pummeled by a Division II foe.
For all the painful losses, though, Maui also saw plenty of impressive performances from both individual players and from teams (highlighted, of course, by the victorious Illini).
Read on for a look at the five individual stars who shined the brightest, followed by grades for every team that competed in this year’s tourney (on and off the island).