The CIT Game of the Day presents: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly.
Tonight’s feature game comes from the Windy City as Chicago State travels cross-town to battle the Flames of Illinois-Chicago. UIC is out of the Horizon League where they put together a 17-15 season and tied for fifth place in their conference. But UIC is not the reason this game is featured. UIC is taking on a team that went 11-21 on the season but captured the sole automatic bid to the CIT, Great West Conference tournament champion Chicago State.
THE GOOD: Chicago State had never won a conference tournament before their Great West championship this season. The Cougars had never played in a postseason tournament. The team wasn’t even eligible for postseason play last season when they received a ban due to poor APRs. But the school has turned things around, advancing to the postseason and posting perfect APRs to regain their eligibility. Next season, Chicago State, a school that was more or less thrown out of the Summit League a few years ago, will move on to the WAC and be able to take a shot at advancing to even bigger postseason tournaments.
THE BAD: Maybe this is more the Sad than the Bad, but barring an upset victory by Chicago State tonight, this will be the final men’s basketball game ever played by a team from the Great West Conference. As we documented several times this season, the Great West will cease to exist after this year. The conference never produced a team that even sniffed at an NCAA tournament bid, but did produce some exciting games and exciting conference tournaments during its short existence.
THE UGLY: Chicago State enters tonight’s game at 11-21 overall. That is a .344 winning percentage on the year. In the entire history of Division I men’s basketball, prior to this season, the worst winning percentage for a team playing in postseason was 1996 Central Florida’s NCAA tournament team that had a .357 winning percentage. In other words, the record books need to be opened tonight as Chicago State becomes the worst team (in terms of winning percentage) ever to play in the postseason.
History will be made tonight in Chicago. If you are actually interested in seeing it, or any of the other CIT games on tap for night, here is the schedule:
Fairfield (19-15) @ Kent State (20-13) 7:00 pm
Elon (21-11) @ Canisius (18-13) 7:00 pm
North Dakota (16-16) @ Northern Iowa (18-14) 8:00 pm
Green Bay (18-15) @ Bradley (16-16) 8:00 pm
South Alabama (17-12) @ Tulane (19-14) 8:00 pm
Chicago State (11-21) @ Illinois-Chicago (17-15) 8:00 pm
Oral Roberts (18-14) @ UT Arlington (19-13) 8:30 pm
Cal Poly (18-13) @ Weber State (26-6) 9:00 pm
High Point (17-13) @ UC Irvine (20-15) 10:30 pm
Air Force (17-13) @ Hawaii (17-14) 12:00 am
All times are Eastern at all games are streamed live at watchcollegeinsider.com.