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Cal to play Wichita State in first round of Maui Invitational, then Marquette or VCU

Tough field.

NCAA Basketball: Oregon State at California Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The California Golden Bears are decided underdogs in the 2017 Maui Invitational given the dramatic roster overhaul. Here’s a look at their schedule:

  • First round, November 20, 5 PM Eastern (2 PM Pacific) on ESPN2: Wichita State Shockers. Wichita State went 31-5 last season in the MVC and made the Round of 32 before falling to Kentucky. The bad news for Cal is almost their entire team returns. This is a tough go.
  • Second round, November 21, either 4 PM Eastern (1 PM Pacific) on ESPN2 if Cal loses, or 1:30 PM Eastern (10:30 AM Pacific) on ESPN if Cal wins: VCU Rams or Marquette Golden Eagles. Marquette squeaked into the tournament and lost a ton of talent. Ditto VCU. This is a winnable game regardless of what happens against Wichita State.
  • Final round, November 22: Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Michigan Wolverines, LSU Tigers, Chaminade. Obviously, the goal for Cal is to avoid the RPI hit of playing Division II Chaminade. Notre Dame and Michigan were both top 20 teams last season. Cal’s best hope of a win against any of these teams is LSU.

Preferrable path for Cal to get out Maui and keep tournament hopes decently strong: Wichita State loss, Marquette or VCU win, LSU win.

Below is the tournament bracket.

Maui Invitational bracket 2017