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Maui Invitational moving to Asheville this season

No, it’s not what anyone signed up for. But neither is *looks around* any of this.

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Exploring Asheville’s Blue Ridge Mountains Photo by George Rose/Getty Images

There won’t be any early-morning walks down Black Rock Beach. There won’t be any late-night strolls along Front Street. There won’t even be an opportunity for Archie Miller to recreate The Shot.

Indiana isn’t going to Hawaii this November.

Neither is Alabama, Davidson, North Carolina, Providence, Stanford, Texas or UNLV. Instead of a Thanksgiving week trip to paradise, the invitees to this year’s Maui Invitational are headed to Asheville, N.C.

The 2020 Tournament — hereby known as Maui on the Mainland — will be staged at the Harrah’s Cherokee Center, a facility famous for hosting the Southern Conference Tournament, the Big South Conference Tournament and WCW SuperBrawl III.

With a location locked down, the question now is whether all eight schools will reroute their plans and actually go to Asheville. According to CBS Sports, at least one school has already looked into leaving the field. Doing so, however, will come at a reported cost of $200,000.

No, it’s not the island getaway everyone was hoping for, but Asheville isn’t that bad. At worst, it’s a fine place to spend a few days. There are good biscuits to be eaten. There’s some pretty good beer, too. Of course, none of that may matter. Very few spectators — if any at all — are likely to be on hand. It’s also probable that the teams will be on lockdown away from the arena.

So yeah. Not ideal, but ... ummm ... nothing is right now.