The CIT moves on to the quarterfinal round tonight, with three games on the schedule. Tonight’s schedule is as follows (all times are Eastern and all games are streamed live at watchcollegeinsider.com):
Loyola MD (23-11) @ East Carolina (20-12) 7:00 pm
Evansville (20-14) @ Canisius (20-13) 7:00 pm
Bradley (18-16) @ Northern Iowa (20-14) 8:00 pm
The featured game this evening is the final game on the list, Bradley’s second trip of the season and third game this year against Missouri Valley Conference mate Northern Iowa. These two teams met at UNI back on January 12, with the Panthers cruising to an 83-54 victory. The game was a lot closer when the Braves hosted on February 10, but UNI pulled out a 68-65 win to sweep the regular season series. However, tonight’s game is the most important of the year for these two teams as the winner will advance to the semifinals of the CIT and have the chance to hang a postseason tournament championship banner.
Bradley enters tonight’s game at 18-16 overall. They beat Green Bay in the first round and Tulane in the second round of the CIT to advance to the quarterfinals. Northern Iowa, on the other hand, enters with a record of 20-14. Their two CIT victories so far were over North Dakota and Illinois-Chicago. At one point this season, UNI seemed to be on course to challenge for an NCAA tournament berth, especially after defeating Wichita State. However, a few late season losses and then being knocked out of the MVC tournament in the quarterfinals by Illinois State sent UNI to the CIT instead. This team is talented enough to continue winning and, at this point, appears to be one of the favorites to cut down the nets next week. However, first they must do one of the most difficult things for a college basketball team to do — beat the same team three times in one season.