Brought to you by the Makers of the SCGD, welcome to the first ever installment of the CIT Game of the Day!
The CIT (CollegeInsiders.com Tournament) is a 32 team postseason college basketball tournament for schools that meet certain criteria. In order to qualify, you must have not been selected to one of the three other tournaments (NCAA, NIT, and CBI), must not play in one of the power conferences (currently the ACC, Big East, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac Twelve and SEC), and must have an overall record of .500 or better. Games against non-D1 competition do count towards qualification for the CIT. The only exception to the .500 rule is in the event the single automatic bid winner is under .500. The CIT gives an automatic bid to the Great West Conference tournament champion in the event that team is not selected for the NCAA or NIT. (This is the final year of the automatic bid as the Great West will cease to exist after this season).
The CIT plays all games on campus sites. It also does not use a set bracket. Rather, after each round of play, the tournament organizers set the following round’s matchups.
Tonight, 6 of the 16 first round games will be played. The schedule is as follows:
Eastern Kentucky (24-9) @ Gardner Webb (21-12) 7:00 pm
Savannah State (19-14) @ East Carolina (18-12) 7:00 pm
Rider (18-14) @ Hartford (17-13) 7:00 pm
Oakland (16-16) @ Youngstown State (17-15) 7:05 pm
Boston University (17-12) @ Loyola MD (21-11) 7:30 pm
Tennessee State (18-14) @ Evansville (18-14) 8:00 pm
All times are Eastern and all games are streamed live at watchcollegeinsider.com.
Tonight’s featured games is the 7:00 PM tipoff in West Hartford, Connecticut between the Rider Broncs out of the Metro Atlantic and the Hartford Hawks of the America East. Rider finished tied for second place in the MAAC, but was upset in the quarterfinals of the conference tournament by Fairfield. Hartford finished in fourth place in the America East, but received the #3 seed in the conference tournament due to Boston University being ineligible for the conference’s automatic NCAA bid. Hartford was also upset in their quarterfinals, going down to 6th seeded UMBC.
Tonight’s game will feature the first ever postseason Division I game for the Hartford men’s basketball program, after 28 seasons as a D1 school. A win tonight will also give them their 18th victory of the season, tying their best D1 performance ever. Finally, it would double their win total from last year, when they only managed 9 victories. Rider, on the other hand, is trying to bounce back from their conference tournament upset. They had won five game in a row to close the regular season before Fairfield knocked them off. The CIT will give both teams a chance to end the season on more positive notes than the sour taste of conference tournament upsets.