If you were wondering where Xavier was going to land for their 2018 in-season tournament, wonder no longer. The Musketeers have earned their first ever berth in the Maui Invitational for 2018. The field in Maui that year will be loaded, featuring Xavier, Duke, Arizona, Illinois, Gonzaga, Iowa State, San Diego State, and Auburn. Chaminade will play an Opening Round (whatever that means) game on the mainland and will host the tournament, but will not actually play in the main event.
This is the marquee tip off tournament. Xavier could hardly find themselves in a more loaded field without somehow earning an automatic bid to the Elite Eight every year. No matter who the Musketeers get and, to some extent, no matter how they do, this one is going to boost their KenPom and computer rankings come seeding time for the NCAA tournament.
The fact that Xavier has even made this tournament must be on some level a bit of a shock to fans who followed the team when NCAA games were an unheard of boon and not the expectation. The fact that the Musketeers could very well find themselves as one of the two best teams in the field speaks to the incredible impact of Coach Chris Mack and the move to the Big East. A trip to Hawaii in 2018 is just one more piece of evidence confirming what Xavier fans already know.