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LU Hosts Rider in CIT Opening Round
The Liberty Flames have accepted a bid to play in the inaugural CollegeInsider.com Post Season Tournament (CIT) and will host Metro Atlantic Athletic Association (MAAC) foe Rider, Tuesday night, inside the Vines Center. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. There will be no television coverage of this game. Liberty spent 11 weeks ranked in CollegeInsider.com's Mid-Major Top 25 and received votes an additional five weeks during the season.
"I am really thrilled about our inclusion in the inaugural CIT," said Liberty Head Coach Ritchie McKay. "I know the folks over at CollegeInsider.com and they will run a first class tournament. Receiving a bid speaks volumes to the commitment and the effort our young group has put into building Liberty basketball. We consider it a great privilege to be included based on the teams in the field of 16."
The CIT features 16 teams not participating in the NCAA or National Invitational Tournament and the tournament is geared toward the top schools in the country that do not participate in one of the six power conferences. The CIT is a single-elimination tournament, consisting of four rounds, with the first three rounds being played at on-campus sites, which is determined by seeding. The inaugural championship game will be played at an on-campus site to be determined by seeding.
Liberty's appearance in the CIT marks the third postseason in Liberty's Division I history the Flames have played beyond the Big South Basketball Championship. Liberty's other two appearances in postseason beyond the Big South Tournament have come in the NCAA Tournament, with the last appearance coming in 2004. The Flames nationally ranked No. 1 St. Joseph's.
Tuesday's contest will begin a new all-time series with Rider. Liberty is 3-5 all-time against current members of the MAAC, including an 86-81 home triumph over Niagara on Dec. 1, 2007, during McKay's first season at the helm of Liberty. The Rider Broncs bring a 19-12 overall record into Tuesday's contest versus the Flames 22-11 mark.
"We are one of 129 teams still playing," commented McKay. "We are proud of our student body and that Flames nation gets to be a part of some more basketball."
The selection committee consists of an impressive group of current and former coaches, athletic directors and senior CollegeInsider.com personnel, including David Adelman (CollegeInsider.com), Brian Doyle (CollegeInsider.com), Matt Drake (CollegeInsider.com), Lefty Driesell (Former head coach, University of Maryland), Hugh Durham (Former head coach, University of Georgia), Joe Dwyer (CollegeInsider.com), Pat Flannery (Former head coach, Bucknell University), Lou Henson (Former head coach, Illinois University), Jim Kerwin (Former head coach, Western Illinois University), Kyle Macy (Former head coach, Morehead State University), Jim Phelan (Former head coach, Mount St. Mary's), Nolan Richardson (Former head coach, University of Arkansas), Riley Wallace (Former head coach, University of Hawaii), Perry Watson (Former head coach, University of Detroit) and Rich Zvosec (Former head coach, UMKC).
For ticket information, please contact the Flames Ticket Office at 434-582-SEAT.
CIT Schedule Format
Tuesday March 17
Rider (19-12) @ Liberty (22-11)
Kent State (19-14) @ Oakland (22-12)
Wednesday March 18
The Citadel (20-12) @ Old Dominion (21-10)
Mount St. Mary's (19-13) @ James Madison (19-14)
Austin Peay (19-13) @ Bradley (18-14)
Belmont (19-12) @ Evansville (17-13)
Portland (19-12) @ Pacific (19-11)
Drake (17-5) @ Idaho (16-15)
Quarterfinal games will be played on Monday, March 23
(Teams will be re-seeded based on geography)
Semifinal games will be played on Wednesday, March 25
Championship game played on Tuesday, March 31