Nashville, Tenn. - It was announced on Wednesday that the Tennessee State University men's basketball team has accepted a bid to the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT).
The postseason bid is the first of any kind for Tennessee State since 1993-94 and the third in the school's NCAA Division I era. The CIT bid is contingent on if the Tigers do not receive an invite to the National Invitation Tournament (NIT). If the Tigers earn a bid to the NIT, TSU will partake in that event.
"We are very pleased to accept an invitation for postseason play in the CIT," said TSU Athletics Director Teresa Phillips. "Our student-athletes and staff have earned this opportunity and will make the most of it."
TSU is the third different school from the Ohio Valley Conference to accept a bid since the CIT's inception in 2009. Austin Peay played in the inaugural tournament in 2009 and Tennessee Tech participated in last year's event. The Golden Eagles are participating in this year's tournament as well.
The first round of the CIT for TSU begins on the road next Tuesday, March 13, Wednesday, March 14 or Thursday, March 15. The Tigers' date and opponent will be announced on Sunday evening.
The Tigers (20-12, 11-5 OVC) completed one of the team's best seasons in recent memory. For the first time since 1995-96, the Big Blue posted a winning record. This season was also the first time the Tigers clipped the 20-win plateau since 1978-79.
Under the direction of TSU head coach John Cooper, the Tigers picked up their first win over an SEC opponent (South Carolina) and a top-10 nationally ranked program (Murray State).
"We are certainly excited to be in postseason play," said Cooper. "This team has earned the right. We look forward to getting better and being competitive. Our ultimate goal is to win the championship. I think we'll bring some excitement and passion to (the CIT)."
Tennessee State made it to the finals of Ohio Valley Conference Tournament, but fell in a heartbreaking fashion, 54-52, to Murray State.
The Tigers are led offensively by first team All-OVC selection Robert Covington. The junior put together 17.8 points and 7.9 rebounds in 32 games played. He ranks in the NCAA's top-100 in scoring, rebounding and blocks.
Earlier this week, Covington was honored by CollegeInsider as the Ohio Valley Conference's Co-Most Valuable Player.
Sophomore guard Patrick Miller is also in double-figures with 10.9 points per contest and a team-best 116 assists.
Ticket information and other details about the CIT will be available online at TSUTigers.com when it becomes available.
-- TSU TIGERS --