By Craig Degel
Arizona Daily Wildcat
November 24, 1997

Maui tourney offers Arizona first real test

Like the Scarecrow said in The Wizard of Oz, "I think it's going to get darker, before it gets lighter."

That's the story for the Arizona men's basketball team this week in the Maui Invitational at Chaminade University in Maui, Hawaii. The Wildcats start the tournament tonight against Boston College at 5 p.m. on ESPN2.

Then, assuming a UA victory, the real fun starts. The possibility exists for a second-round game with No. 7 Kentucky and - if the favorites win out - a championship game with No. 2 Duke.

"We have a lot of tough opponents coming up," Arizona junior A.J. Bramlett said.

It was a low-key response to what should be UA's chance to prove its No. 1 ranking.

"It's going to be a great week," Arizona head coach Lute Olson said. "It's unusual to have that many quality teams. We'll find out a lot about our team this week."

That's because aside from the tough three-day schedule, the Wildcats face another opponent. The weather. The humidity inside host Chaminade's gym is intense and the place has no air conditioning.

"I'm surprised that with all the money they must have made over the years that they haven't installed air conditioning," Olson said. "We'll get a check on our conditioning in a hot and humid facility."

In the other games, Chaminade faces Duke at noon, Missouri and DePaul square off at 2 p.m. and Kentucky and George Washington follow UA-Boston College at 7:30.

In Boston College, the Wildcats have somewhat of a mystery team. The Eagles have a new coach in Al Skinner, and lost All-Big East guard Scoonie Penn when he transferred to Ohio State. To scout the Eagles, the Wildcats obtained tape of Rhode Island from last season with the idea that Skinner has implemented the same offensive and defensive systems at Boston College.

If the Wildcats win tonight, the second round matchup against either Kentucky or George Washington will take place tomorrow night at 7. A game with Kentucky would mean a rematch of the NCAA Tournament championship game, which UA won 84-79 in overtime.

That game will also be televised by ESPN2. Should the Wildcats lose, their consolation game against the loser of the same game will take place at 2 p.m.

Arizona vs. Boston College

(1-0, 0-0)(2-0, 0-0)

When: Tonight at 5

Where: Maui Invitational at Lahaina Civic Center in Maui, Hawaii

TV/Radio: The game will be televised on ESPN2 and broadcast by KNST (AM790).

What: Arizona gets a chance to prove its No. 1 ranking in Maui with the possibility of playing Kentucky and Duke before the week is over ... After today, all of Arizona's games will be on ESPN.

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