The Maui Invitational is one of the premier early-season tournaments that NCAA men's basketball has to offer on an annual basis.
Although the tournament may be one of the furthest away for most programs and fans, it is definitely worth the extra time and money spent once you have witnessed the atmosphere that the small tournament provides to the everyday basketball fan.
One team that has taken advantage of every opportunity to play in the tournament is the Duke Blue Devils. They have made the long journey to Hawaii four times in the program's history, and they have four titles to their name—including an undefeated record of 12-0.
Previous Duke MVPs of the tournament include such greats as Bobby Hurley in 1992, Steve Wojciechowski in 1997, Mike Dunleavy Jr. in 2001 and, most recently, Kyle Singler in 2007.
This year, however, will be the first time in the tournament's history that there will be mainland teams competing in the bracket not traveling to Maui. The four teams staying in the states are Belmont, Middle Tennessee, UNC Greensboro and Towson.
The eight teams that will participate in the championship round are Duke, Kansas, UCLA, Michigan, Georgetown, Tennessee, Memphis and the local Chaminade.
The favorite heading in, though, has to be the Blue Devils. They have revamped their starting lineup from just one season ago (due to the losses of Kyrie Irving, Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler) and should be well prepared to face any team in Maui after their preseason trips to Dubai and China.
They also have the most talented backcourt of any of the eight teams making the trip, and their frontcourt players, with the addition of Marshall Plumlee and Alex Murphy, should be able to withstand any opposing team's big men.
However, that doesn't necessarily mean that Duke will be given the title.
With the strongest field in the tournament's history, as well as the number of legendary programs invited to compete in Hawaii this season, this could be the year that the Blue Devils fall in Maui.
Which potential opponent has the talent and ability to hand Duke its first loss in the tournament's history? Which players could give the Blue Devils problems on defense and possibly lead to an upset win for their program?
The following is a slideshow of five potential opponents that could knock off Duke in this season's Maui Invitational.