Playing at the Lahaina Civic Center is like playing at Newman or East High. It seats 2,400, bleachers on three sides and chairs behind one baseline. It’s also like Emporia’s White Auditorium, in that it really is a civic center. The police and fire and health and other services are in and around the building. When they’re not playing basketball, bingo is a tenant.
I’ve seen six of the eight teams, and Kentucky by far has the most fans. The Wildcat fans took up one entire side, most of the baseline seats and almost half of the other side. There can’t be more than 40 Oklahoma fans here. I know it’s a football school and the Sooners are down in basketball, but it’s a poor showing for a Big 12 school. Michigan State appears to have a few more fans than WSU, which probably had a few more than UConn. I expect Washington to represent strong later tonight. Virginia may rank with Oklahoma for ignoring the event.
If you’re watching Chaminade-Michigan State, you’ve figured out the underdog is no joke. WSU, if it ends up playing the Silverswords, will need to play well. Chaminade and Michigan State are tied 39-all at the half. Chaminade is out-rebounding the Spartans 17-10. Watched just a few minutes of the Kentucky-OU game. I saw enough of Wildcat freshman Terrence Jones to be impressed. He is worth watching this week. OU coach Jeff Capel said he told Jones he was the nation’s top recruit. I can see why. I met a Wichitan who is a big OU basketball fan, as well as a Shocker fan who follows volleyball closely. I did not expect to get asked a Shocker volleyball question in Maui, but I did. A UConn-Michigan State matchup with Kemba Walker vs. Kalin Lucas would be entertaining.