Non-NCAA Teams Face Exciting Month
One- or two-liners on the seven, count 'em, seven teams from D.C./Maryland/Virginia that are playing in postseason events other than the NCAA Tournament. That means 12 of our 27 aren't done yet.
Georgetown at Baylor in the NIT: Baylor has never hosted an NIT game and never played Georgetown. Baylor coach Scott Drew told the Waco Herald-Tribune that he's been trying to schedule a series with Georgetown in recent seasons. Also, Georgetown had more wins against top-three seeds than any team in the country except overall No. 1 seed Louisville. That might be the greatest stat of the month.
George Mason at Penn State in the NIT: The Lions, one of the last teams out, are already talking about winning an NIT championship. That, friends, is disrespect. Rule one of the NIT: never look past George Mason.
Duquesne at Virginia Tech in the NIT: Duquesne Coach Ron Everhart played at Tech and captained the '84-'85 tourney team. Also, Seth Greenberg told reporters that the Dukes compare favorably to Maryland, whatever that means.
St. John's at Richmond in the CBI: The Atlantic 11 will be over by the time this glorious game tips, but if Richmond beats St. John's, ought they move ahead of Georgetown in next year's preseason rankings?
Mount St. Mary's at James Madison in the CIT: As the headline at JMU Sports says, "JMU TO PLAY IN POST-SEASON MEN'S BASKETBALL EVENT." That about sums it up. This will be the third season in a row James Madison will face MSM. Also, every time I see a MSM reference, I think James Madison or whoever is facing the mainstream media.
Rider at Liberty in the CIT: From Liberty's athletics site: "We are one of 129 teams still playing," commented [Coach Ritchie] McKay. "We are proud of our student body and that Flames Nation gets to be a part of some more basketball." Flames Nation? One hundred and twenty-nine teams still playing? Man, I love this month.
The Citadel at Old Dominion in the CIT: You're wondering why one-fourth of the CIT field is from the DMV? Wonder no more: the selection committee included Lefty Driesell and Jim Phelan. As for Old Dominion, they've now scored invites to the NCAA, NIT, CBI and CIT in this decade, which is truly remarkable.
Oh, and here's a one-liner about one of the tourney teams, Radford, whose Highlander mascot was just named the best dressed of the tourney by Hollywood.com fashion maven Lien Ta. "Naughty schoolgirl skirts will never, ever go out of style."
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