Three-time Maui Invitational champion North Carolina will face Mississippi State in the quarterfinals of the 2012 installment of the event, which will take place from Nov. 19-21 at the Lahina Civic Center.
While the Bulldogs will likely be in rebuilding mode after losing stars Arnett Moultrie and Dee Bost from last season's NIT squad, Carolina is still guaranteed to get a test before the title game. The reason for that is because formidable foes Butler and Marquette are squaring off in the other quarterfinal matchup of the bracket's top half.
The Golden Eagles lose Big East Player of the Year Jae Crowder and fellow senior Darius Johnson-Odom from last season's Sweet 16 team, but return standouts Vander Blue and Davante Gardner. Butler missed the NCAA Tournament in 2012 after consecutive losses in the national title game, but returns four starters and adds highly sought-after Arkansas transfer Rotnei Clarke.
USC will take on Illinois and new head coach John Groce in one bottom half quarterfinal, while Texas will play host Chaminade in the other. This year marks the 30th anniversary of Chaminade's stunning upset of No. 2 Virginia, the event that resulted in the creation of the Maui Invitational.
North Carolina, Maui champions in 1999, 2004 and 2008, is attempting to close in on arch-rival Duke's record of five titles. No other team in the 2012 field has won the tournament, although Illinois (2000) and Marquette (2007) have both made it to the championship game.
Here's the full slate for the 2012 tournament (all times ET):
Butler vs. Marquette (3:30 p.m./ESPN2)
North Carolina vs. Mississippi State (6 p.m./ESPN2)
Texas vs. Chaminade (9:30 p.m./ESPNU)
USC vs. Illinois (Midnight/ESPN2)
Consolation Game 1 (2:30 p.m./ESPN2)
Consolation Game 2 (5 p.m./ESPN2)
Semifinal 1 (8 p.m./ESPN)
Semifinal 2 (10:30 p.m./ESPN2)
7th Place Game (2:30 p.m./ESPNU)
5th Place Game (5 p.m./ESPN2)
3rd Place Game (7:30 p.m./ESPN2)
Championship Game (10 p.m./ESPN)