POSTED: Wednesday, September 30, 2009 - 9:36pm
UPDATED: Thursday, February 25, 2010 - 11:33am
For Immediate Release: September 30, 2009
Contact: Bernie Saenz, Asst. A.D. for Media Relations, (956) 381-2240
Great West Granted Automatic Bid into CIT Field
EDINBURG--The University of Texas-Pan American’s athletic department received notification from the Great West conference office that the winner of the basketball conference tournament will receive a bid to the Collegeinsider.com Post-season Tournament.
The Great West and CollegeInsider.com, a nationally recognized website, formed a partnership which grants an automatic qualifier bid to the Great West men’s basketball conference tournament champion and will auto¬matically place that winner amongst the field of 16 teams participating in the CIT. The agreement makes the CIT the first post-season college basketball tournament outside the NCAA tournament to agree to an automatic qualifier to any NCAA conference.
“The automatic bid into the CollegeInsider.com post-season tournament is exciting for our student athletes to have an opportunity to play in post-season play. The CIT brings recognition not only our men’s basketball program, but also for the university, said UTPA director of athletics, Chris King. “The CIT helps our recruiting efforts for both the men’s basketball program and provides additional publicity in the recruitment efforts for the university. Anytime we have a chance to publicize our university’s name to a national audience the exposure helps generate excitement within the community and with our alumni bases.”
The CollegeInsider.com Post-season Tournament (CIT), which was played for the first time in March of 2009, features 16 teams not participating in the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship or the National Invitational Tournament. The tournament is single elimination and consists of five rounds, all being played at on-campus sites, which will be determined by seeding.
“The automatic bid is another great step as far as the opportunities for what’s out there for both our program and our conference. For players and coaches alike, every February you start to get the swirl of post-season play and that is something our kids haven’t had playing as an independent for the past few years,” said UTPA men’s basketball head coach Ryan Marks. “We now have the ability to look forward to trying to win a regular season championship and we know that if we win the conference title, we will be playing in a national tournament in March and that’s fantastic.”
The field for the 2010 CIT will be announced on Sunday March 14, following the announcement of the fields for both the NCAA and NIT. First round action will begin on March 16. The championship game, which will be televised nationally on Fox College Sports, will be played on March 30. Old Dominion defeated Bradley (in Peoria, Illinois) to win the inaugural CIT.
“So much of college athletics is opportunity,” said Joe Dwyer, co-founder of CollegeInsider.com. “Awarding the Great West Conference an automatic bid to the CIT guarantees the league the opportunity to participate in the post-season. This is a great addition to our tournament.”