The Eagles have accepted a bid to play in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament (CIT) and will host Niagara University Wednesday, March 14. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Convocation Center.
This marks the second appearance in the CIT and the first since the 2013-14 campaign for Eastern Michigan, when the Eagles defeated Norfolk State University at home, 58-54, before coming up short at Columbia University, 69-56. It is also the first postseason opportunity for EMU in three years, when the Green and White took part in the 2015 College Basketball Invitational (CBI).
The Purple Eagles of Niagara are 19-13 on the season, including a 12-4 conference record to earn a No. 3 seed in the 2018 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Tournament. Niagara's 19 overall wins, 12 MAAC wins, and nine home wins are the most in five seasons.
The Purple Eagles' 10 road victories lead the MAAC and tied a school record in the modern-era set in the 2008-09 season. The Purple Eagles lead the MAAC in points per game (83.8), total blocks (141), blocks per game (4.4), total rebounds (1,245), free throws made (578), and in fewest turnovers per game (11.3).
The Purple Eagles are making their first postseason appearance since the 2013 National Invitational Tournament (NIT) where they lost to No. 2 seed Maryland. Niagara, which has appeared in three NCAA Tournaments and 14 NITs, will play in the CIT for the first time in program history.
Wednesday's matchup is just the second all-time meeting between the two programs and the first since the 1970-71 campaign. That year, Niagara posted a 91-63 decision in Buffalo, N.Y. over Kennedy McIntosh and the then-Hurons , Dec. 12, 1970.
Eastern Michigan enters the contest with a 21-12 overall record and 11-7 in Mid-American Conference play. The Eagles closed the regular season with a six-game winning streak and have won 10 of their last 13 games. Eastern was 13-3 inside the Convocation Center this year and has posted a 69-18 (.793) record over the past five seasons on its home floor.
In its 10th season, the CIT was created to provide an opportunity to participate in the postseason for deserving programs not selected to play in the NCAA Tournament or the NIT. The field is selected by a 14-member committee made of current Division I Athletic Directors and Conference Commissioners.
For the sixth consecutive year, CBS Sports Network is the home of the CIT. This season, CBS Sports Network will televise seven tournament games, including the semifinals and championship game. All remaining CIT games will be streamed live through CBS Sports Digital's subscription OTT service, SportsLive, and WatchCIT.com.
The four first round games will be televised live on CBS Sports Network on Monday, March 12, at 12 p.m., 2 p.m., 6 p.m., and 10 p.m. The games will be the only college basketball games played on the day after Selection Sunday. CBS Sports Network will also televise the CIT semifinals Wednesday, March 28, at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m., and the CIT Championship on Friday, March 30, at 7 p.m.
(Courtesy of EMUEagles.com)