Saturday, March 10, 2012

Manhattan Accepts Bid To Event

While several MAAC teams await news of their national post-season tournament fates, at least one conference program already knows where it will play.

That would be Manhattan which, late Friday night, received an accepted an invitation to participate in the fourth-annual post-season tournament and its 24-team field.

The Jaspers, whose 20-12 overall record marked a national-best 14-victory improvement from the previous year, will be paired with the University at Albany in the event's first round and will travel to play at UAlbany's on-campus SEFCU Arena in a 7 p.m. game on Wednesday.

The full 24-team bracket, which includes mid-major level teams not invited either to the NCAA or NIT events, will be revealed Sunday night.

The tournament has included a MAAC team in each of its previous three seasons with Rider participating (losing a first-round game) in 2009, Fairfield playing and winning a first-round game in 2010 before being eliminated, and Iona advancing to the event's championship contest last season before it was eliminated by Santa Clara.

Fairfield's 2010 appearance included its comeback from a 27-point deficit with 16:08 remaining in a game against George Mason, which remains the largest overcome deficit in a Division I post-season tournament game in college basketball history.

Manhattan will be making its first appearance in a national post-season event since 2006.

Albany is currently 19-14 overall and advanced to the America East Conference's semifinal round before it was eliminated by Stony Brook. Manhattan had its MAAC post-season tournament ended with an overtime loss against Siena.

The CIT consists of  five rounds, including a unique second round in which, after all 24 participants play a first-round game, the top four remaining seeds receive byes to advance directly to the quarterfinals

The event will have 23 total games with all contests played at on-campus sites with host schools determined by seeding.

First-round games are scheduled for March 13, 14 and 15; second-round games will be played on March 16, 17 and 18; quarterfinals will be on March 20 and 21 with the semifinals on March 23 and 24. The event's championship contest will be on March 28 and televised by Fox College Sports.

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