After passing up a potential postseason appearance last season, Murray State has accepting a bid to the CollegeInsider.com Tournament. The Racers will travel to Missouri State for their opening round on Wednesday, March 19th. The game will tip at 7:05 p.m. CDT.
While the Racers are on the road for the first round, Murray State has the option of potentially hosting a second or third-round game should they advance. The CIT requires teams wishing to host games to pay a set amount. The first round occurs during Murray State University’s spring break.
Missouri State finished the season 20-12 overall, 9-9 in the Missouri Valley Conference. They were knocked out of the MVC tournament by No. 2 Wichita State.
The complete pairings for the CIT men’s basketball postseason tournament will be finalized once the selections have been made for the NCAA Tournament and the National Invitation Tournament (NIT).
The Racers are in the CIT for the first time and will be meeting Missouri State for the first time since playing in Springfield in 2011 in the NIT. The Bears won that game 89-76. The all-time series with Missouri State is 1-1, with the Racers taking the first meeting in Kansas City, Mo., in 1952.
One likely reason for accepting a bid this year: they’re a much younger team. The Racers only graduate only senior, Dexter Fields, and can use the game to get their young players more experience. Murray State graduated Isaiah Cannan and Ed Daniel last season, and opted not to accept any postseason bids unless they were accepted into the NIT.
The Racers will likely find out their first-round opponent on Selection Sunday, after the NCAA and NIT fields are released.
The CIT is a 32-team tournament, where the semifinals and final will be aired on CBS Sports Network. Murray State athletic director Allen Ward told the TV station the opportunity to potentially play on national television played a role in accepting the bid.
Here are the dates for this year’s CollegeInsider.com Tournament:
First Round: March 18-19
Second Round: March 21-22
Quarterfinals: March 25-27
Semifinals: April 1
Championship: April 3
As of now, the Racers will be at least the third Ohio Valley Conference team playing in the postseason. Eastern Kentucky earned the conference’s automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament, while Belmont earned an automatic bid into the NIT by winning the conference’s regular season crown.
Updated 4:40 p.m., March 12th