Great West Granted Automatic Bid Into CIT Field
Sept. 29, 2009
NAPERVILLE, Ill. - The Great West Conference men's basketball tournament champion has been granted an automatic bid into the CollegeInsider.com Post-season Tournament (CIT), giving the league's first post-season tournament even more meaning.
The Great West and CollegeInsider.com, a nationally recognized website, formed a partnership which grants an automatic qualifier bid to the Great West men's basketball conference tournament champion and will automatically place that winner amongst the field of 16 teams participating in the CIT. The agreement makes the CIT the first post-season college basketball tournament outside the NCAA tournament to agree to an automatic qualifier to any NCAA conference.
"We are very appreciative to CollegeInsider.com to be offered the opportunity for our men's basketball tournament champion to extend its season into post-season play," said Commissioner Ed Grom. "We started this all-sport conference to provide student-athletes the opportunity to play for conference championships. As independent institutions, there was no carrot at the end of the season for their student-athletes to reach for. They now have not only a conference championship to play for, but also inclusion into a quality post-season basketball tournament such as the CollegeInsider.com event."
The CollegeInsider.com Post-season Tournament (CIT), which was played for the first time in March of 2009, features 16 teams not participating in the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship or the National Invitational Tournament. The tournament is single elimination and consists of five rounds, all being played at on-campus sites, which will be determined by seeding.
"I think it's exciting for every school in the Great West to have a chance for post-season play," said Dick Hunsaker, head men's basketball coach at Utah Valley, whose institution will be hosting the tournament March 10-13. "It's a wonderful reward for the conference tournament winner. There is no question this should generate a great deal of excitement for our fans across the conference and provide a boost to the meaning of our post-season tournament. We've had a long wait for the opportunity to earn a berth in post-season play."
The field for the 2010 CIT will be announced on Sunday March 14, following the announcement of the fields for both the NCAA and NIT. First round action will begin on March 16. The championship game, which will be televised nationally on Fox College Sports, will be played on March 30. Old Dominion defeated Bradley (in Peoria, Illinois) to win the inaugural CIT.
"So much of college athletics is opportunity," said Joe Dwyer, co-founder of CollegeInsider.com. "Awarding the Great West Conference an automatic bid to the CIT guarantees the league the opportunity to participate in the post-season. This is a great addition to our tournament."