The Illini are going back to the islands.
The Maui Invitational announced Wednesday the field for the 2018 edition of the annual college hoops event, and Illinois will be a part of the eight-team group, joining Arizona, Auburn, Duke, Gonzaga, Iowa State, San Diego State and Xavier.
The Illini will be playing in the event for the fifth time, previously playing in 1987, 2000, 2007 and 2012. Last time they were there in 2012 — John Groce's first season — they won the tournament. Three of the other teams in the field (Arizona, Duke and Gonzaga) are also past tournament winners.
In 2018, games will be played on Nov. 19, 20 and 21.
The 2018 edition of the Maui Invitational will also mark a first, with all eight participating teams being Division-I programs. Chaminade, the traditional host of the tournament, will only play in Maui in odd years moving forward, playing in preliminary games in even years.
The Big Ten has sent a representative to Maui every season but six since the event began in 1984. Wisconsin will be a part of the event this November, with Michigan State participating in 2017.
According to ESPN's Jeff Goodman, the Bulls have agreed to a deal with former Celtics shooting guard R.J. Hunter.
The Chicago Bulls have agreed to deal with former Celtics guard R.J. Hunter, source told ESPN.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) October 26, 2016
R.J. Hunter's agreement with Chicago will be a one-year deal, source told ESPN.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) October 26, 2016
Hunter, a first-round pick of the Celtics in 2015, appeared in 38 games as a rookie. He struggled from the field, shooting just 36.7 percent from the field and 30.2 percent from deep. He ultimately lost out on a roster spot this preseason in a crowded Celtics backcourt.
Hunter was the darling of the 2015 NCAA Tournament playing for his father at Georgia State. Hunter hit a game-winning 3-pointer against Baylor to propel the 14th-seeded Panthers to an opening-round win.
Hunter was a two-time Sun Belt Player of the Year, averaging 19.7 points per game as a junior.
The Bulls open their 2016-17 season tomorrow night against the Celtics.
Stay with CSNChicago.com for more updates on this story.