Basketball Continues: Colonels to Host First-Round CIT Game March 17

EKU Basketball file photo

Eastern Kentucky University’s men’s basketball team will make its third straight appearance in a national postseason tournament when the Colonels host a first round game in the 7th Annual CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT) on Tuesday, March 17 at 7 p.m., the university announced today.

Free St. Patrick’s Day themed EKU t-shirts will be given away at the game.  All Eastern Kentucky University students will receive FREE admission.  Tickets for lower level chair-back seats will be $15, upper chair-back seats are $10 and general admission seats are $8.  EKU season ticket holders and Colonel Club members can purchase chair-back tickets for half price if ordered in advance.  EKU faculty and staff can receive half price general admission seats.  To order tickets, or for more information, call the ticket office at 859-622-2122.

EKU’s first round opponent will not be known until the complete field is announced on Sunday night.  This is Eastern’s sixth national postseason tournament appearance in the last 11 years.  Included among those six are three NCAA Tournament trips.

The CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament was created in 2009.  What began as a 16-team event, expanded to 24 teams in 2011 and is now a 32-team postseason tournament, with invitations extended only to teams outside of the BCS power conferences.

There is no formal bracket for the tournament.  The match-ups for each round are determined after the preceding round is completed.  All 31 games are played on campus sites. 

The first round will be played on March 17-18.  Second-round CIT games will be played March 20-21, quarterfinal games March 24-25 and semifinal games March 31.  The championship game will be played on April 2.  The semifinals and the championship game will be broadcast live on CBS Sports Network.

Eastern Kentucky played in the 2013 CIT, beating Gardner-Webb 69-62 before falling to Evansville, 86-72.  The victory at Gardner-Webb was the first for EKU in a national postseason tournament in 68 years.

The Colonels are 19-11 overall this season, including a 28-point victory at No. 18 Miami.  After ending the regular season with eight wins in nine games, Eastern posted a top-3 finish in the Ohio Valley Conference for the third straight season. 

EKU features a pair of first team All-OVC selections in Corey Walden and Eric Stutz.  Walden is the only player in the conference ranked among the top-10 in scoring (2nd), field goal percentage (9th), assists (7th) and steals (1st).  In the OVC Tournament semifinals, Walden broke the school record for career steals and steals in a season.

Stutz is only the 13th player in program history to score 1,000 points and grab 500 rebounds in his career.  He is sixth in the nation in shooting (62.3 percent).  In his last seven home games, the senior shot 70 percent from the field while averaging 20 points per game.

The Colonels are on the cusp of the 10th 20-win season in program history due in large part to their defense.  Eastern Kentucky leads the OVC with 63 points allowed per game.  EKU is fourth in the nation in steals (9.7 spg), has forced its opponents into an average of 18.9 turnovers per game and leads the country in turnover margin (+7.3).  In 60 halves of basketball this season, Eastern has held its opponents to 30 or fewer points in a half 25 times (42 percent).

With its win at Tennessee State (Feb. 14), EKU set a new program record for the winningest four-year stretch.  The Colonels have now surpassed the previous mark of 80 by four wins.

Published on March 10, 2015

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