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College basketball; Orange faces Minnesota in rteturn to Maui

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Syracuse’s first trip to the EA Sports Maui Invitational since 1998 includes a home game and then a meeting with a Big Ten foe to open play in Hawaii.

The Orange welcomes St. Francis of Brooklyn to the Carrier Dome for an opening round game on Nov. 18. St. Francis was 12-18 a year ago.

SU then flies to Maui and faces 2013 NCAA participant Minnesota at 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 25 at the Lahaina Civic Center. The Gophers feature first-year head coach Richard Pitino, son of Lousiville head coach and former SU assistant Rick Pitino. Minnesota was 21-13 last year and earned an NCAA playoff berth.

The winner of the Syracuse-Minnesota game will face the winner of a pairing between Arkansas and California. The Razorbacks were 19-13 a year ago,including a 91-82 home loss to SU. The Bears were 21-12 and were knocked out of the NCAA Tournament by Syracuse.

The other half of the Maui portion of the bracket has host Chaminade playing Baylor and Dayton going against Gonzaga. Chaminade reached the NCAA Division II playoffs and finished 19-11 in 2012-13 while Baylor was 23-14 after winning the NIT championship. The Flyers were 17-14 and the Zags 32-3 with an NCAA berth last winter.

The Orange captured the tournament in 1998, beating Chaminade (82-44), Michigan (58-46) and Indiana (76-63) on consecutive days. The Orange played in the 1990 Maui Classic and defeated Toledo (84-68), Iowa State (83-67) and Indiana (77-74) to claim the title.

Each of the games played in Maui will be televised on ESPN, ESPN 2, or ESPNU.

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