For the second time in the last five years, the MIT men’s basketball team will travel abroad to Taiwan to participate in the fifth annual Kainan University International Basketball Invitational. The Engineers will spend nine days on the northeast coast of Taiwan while competing in the eight-team tournament, which will be held from May 24-27. Tech first made the trip to Taiwan in 2006 as it captured the inaugural championship title.
The Cardinal and Gray will open up play against Hasuan Chuang University of Taiwan on May 24 at 4:30 p.m. local time. In the second game, Tech will take on Kyushu University (Japan) at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, May 25, before finishing out its opening round play against the host Kainan University at 4 p.m. on May 26.
The eight teams are divided into two groups for the preliminary rounds. The second-place teams in each group will face off in the Consolation Final on May 27 while the group winners will play for the Tournament Championship later on the same day.
Fans can follow MIT’s progress in the tournament, including updates by some of the players, on MIT’s official Twitter and Facebook pages. Follow along at http://twitter.com/MITengineers and http://www.facebook.com/MITengineers.
While in Taiwan, the team will be taken on a tour of the Northeast coast, including Taipei 101, which had been recognized as the world’s tallest building until January. The MIT Club of Taiwan has also organized a gathering where MIT head coach Larry Anderson and the team will be reunited with Alan Ho '08, a four-year member of the team, as well as women’s basketball alumna, Alice Yeh '09.
Behind the stellar play of Jimmy Bartolotta '09, Mike D’Auria '06 and Will Mroz '08, the Engineers won four straight games en route the 2006 Kainan Invitational crown. Tech defeated Taiwan’s SBL pro team, Yo Ming, 80-68, in the championship game. Anderson commented that the win was the most incredible feeling at that point during his MIT career.
Leading the way for MIT this time around will be All-America selection, Noel Hollingsworth, as well as D3Hoops Northeast Rookie of the Year, Mitchell Kates. Tech is hoping to build on the success of its record-setting 2009-10 campaign, in which the team eclipsed the program record for wins in a season, finishing at 22-5. The Engineers also made their second straight appearance in the NCAA Division III Tournament, losing a hard-fought, overtime contest to DeSales University, 72-64, in the opening round. The Cardinal and Gray earned its first NEWMAC Regular Season title and rose as high as No. 8 in the national rankings.