BALTIMORE - UMBC has accepted a bid to compete in the College Insider.com Tournament (CIT) and make its first appearance in a post-season men's basketball tournament since winning the America East title in 2008.
The Retrievers (18-12) will host the Fairfield Stags (16-14) on Wed., March 15 at the RAC Arena. Tip-off time is slated for 7:00 p.m.
Tickets are available for on-line purchase at the link above. Courtside seats are available for $25, $15 for adult general admission, $10 for faculty/staff/seniors/youth general admission and $6 tickets are available for groups of 20 or more fans.
"We are extremely pleased to accept an invitation to the CIT and continue to compete in post-season play," said head coach Ryan Odom. "This is a significant milestone for this team and our program and represents a major step forward as we seek to establish a strong foundation upon which to build a championship-caliber program. Our players have committed themselves to our new philosophy and approach and I am so happy they are being rewarded for their efforts and sacrifice with this bid."
UMBC is currently the third-most improved team (tied with Northern Kentucky) in the nation, recording a twelve-game improvement from last season's final record of 7-25. The 18 wins are tied for the program's fourth-most in 30 years of NCAA Division I competition.
Under Odom, the Retrievers have been one of the most dynamic offenses in the nation in 2016-17. Through games of March 5, UMBC was 25th in the nation in scoring average at 81.4 points per game. They are also 22nd nationally with 9.6 three-point field goals made per game and 19th in 3-pt. field goal percentage (39.6 percent).
Moreover, UMBC has broken a season record for 3-point field goals made in a season. The Retrievers have knocked down 287, shattering the mark of 248, which was set in the 2007-08 campaign.
Fairfield will compete in the CIT for the fourth time in the past six seasons, highlighted by an appearance in the semi-finals in 2012.
Fairfield enters winning eight of their last 12 games. The Stags placed fifth in the MAAC standings and earned a first-round bye in the conference tournament for the second straight season. Among the team's signature wins in 2016-17 was the program's first-ever win against an ACC team when the Stags edged Boston College in a nationally-televised game on CBS Sports Network.
Now in its' ninth year, the 32-team CIT has had more schools make their postseason debut (25) and more programs win their first-ever postseason game (29) than all other tournaments combined during the eight seasons since the CIT was established in 2009.
The CIT uses the old NIT model in which there is no set bracket. Future round opponents are determined by the results of the previous round.
At least 28 CIT games will be broadcast exclusively through Facebook Live, including all first round, second round and quarterfinal matchups. This enables the CIT to bring the excitement of postseason basketball to Facebook's global community of sports fans, which includes more than 650 million people connected to at least one sports Page on the platform.
The CIT semifinals and championship will be broadcast on CBS Sports for the fifth consecutive year.