March 9, 2012
Rice University has accepted an invitation to play in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament. The Owls will play a first-round game at Louisiana-Lafayette Wednesday.
The CIT consists of six rounds, including a unique second round in which the top four remaining seeds receive byes. The format insures that the first round of the tournament is not perceived as a "play-in" round.
First-round games will be played Tuesday through Thursday. Second round games are slated for March 16-18. The quarterfinals of the tournament will be played March 20-21 with the semifinals slated for March 23-24. The championship game will be played on March 28 and will be broadcast by Fox College Sports.
All six rounds of the tournament will be played at on-campus sites.
The complete tournament field will be announced on Sunday.
Rice, 17-15, advances to post season play for the first time since 2005 when the team participated in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT).
"We are pleased to be among a selected group of teams invited to participate in a postseason tournament," said Rice coach Ben Braun. "This is an important step for our program."
Rice heads into the tournament following a 68-66 loss to East Carolina in the first round of the Conference USA Men's Basketball Championship.
Louisiana-Lafayette finished third in the Sun Belt Conference's West Division regular-season standings and has posted a 16-15 overall record. The Ragin Cajuns lost to North Texas 65-62 in the quarterfinal round of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament earlier this week.
Tip-off will be at 7:05 p.m. Wednesday in the Cajundome and ticket information will be available later at RiceOwls.com.
This year marks the fourth year of the CIT. Santa Clara defeated Iona 76-69 in the championship game of the 2011 CIT.
Conference USA members East Carolina, Marshall, SMU and Southern Miss have all participated in the tournament in past years. SMU reached last year's semifinals.