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(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
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BYU Basketball Will Open Maui Invitational Against UCLA

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

PROVO, Utah – The highly anticipated Maui Jim Maui Invitational bracket was released on Thursday.  BYU Basketball already knew they would be participating in the Maui Invitational, but the matchups were unknown.

The Cougars will take on the UCLA Bruins from the Pac-12 Conference in the opening round at the Lahaina Civic Center on Monday, November 25th at 9:30 p.m. (MT) on ESPN 2.

Both programs will feature first-year head coaches for their respective programs.  BYU has Mark Pope as their new head coach and UCLA hired longtime Cincinnati head man Mick Cronin.

The winner of the BYU-UCLA game will take on the winner of the Kansas University-Chaminade University.  Chaminade is the host school of the Maui Invitational.

In 1984 Chaminade University hosted the first Maui Invitational and it has consistently been one of the top pre-season basketball tournaments every year.

According to the BYU press release on this tournament: The Maui Invitational attracts the top programs, best-known coaches and most outstanding players to compete in an exciting atmosphere at the Lahaina Civic Center near the beautiful beaches of Maui.

Other schools in this year’s 2019 Maui Invitational include Michigan State, Virginia Tech, Georgia, and Dayton.

2019 will mark BYU’s fourth appearance in the Maui Invitational.  The previous appearances took place in 1992, 2004, and 2014.  In 1992, BYU appeared in the championship game in the prestigious Maui Tournament before falling to No. 1 ranked Duke.

BYU has yet to release their non-conference schedule for the 2019-20 season.  But Mark Pope discussed some of the matchups his squad will face in year one on an episode of the Cougar Tracks Podcast here on KSL Sports.  Road games at Houston, Boise State, and rival Utah.  Home games in the Marriott Center against Nevada and Mississippi State will highlight the home slate for Cougar fans.  Then a neutral site game at the Vivint Smarthome Arena in the Beehive Classic against Utah State.

The Cougars are seeking their first NCAA Tournament appearance since the 2014-15 season.  Last year, BYU finished 19-13.  Their first season below 20 wins in 14 years.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.