BOSTON -- The field for the 2011 CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT) was announced on Sunday evening shortly after the Northern Arizona men's basketball team completed its first postseason practice.
The 24-team field features schools from 15 different conferences, including the Big Sky, Conference USA, Missouri Valley and the Mountain West Conference.
"We all had different plans for spring break but it is cool that we got an invite to this tournament," said senior Cameron Jones. "Our motivation is we have never won a postseason game in school history. It is motivation to do something that no other team has done here and of course get 20 wins."
NAU's 19 wins are the most since 2007-08 (21) and fifth season under Adras with 18 or more wins. The Lumberjacks are seeking the fifth 20 win season under Adras.
NAU will play on the road in the opening round on March 15 at Santa Clara in the Leavy Center at 7 p.m. Fans can listen to the Lumberjack Radio Network on 105.1 The Big Talker and on the internet at www.bigtalkerradio.com.
It is one of seven games in the tournament to be played on Tuesday. Quinnipeac will host Buffalo in the first game on Monday night. The first round will be completed on Wednesday with Western Michigan, Valpariaso, SMU and San Francisco all hosting games.
"It is a good arena and good team," said Jones. "I think it is the same personnel we played last year. They made it to the semifinals of their tournament and beat Gonzaga this year. It will be a pretty interesting game to play."
The two schools met at Santa Clara as part of the West Coast Classic last season. NAU posted an 88-72 victory. DeAngelo Jones scored a career-high 28 points and Jones, Gabe Rogers and Eric Platt each added 14 points in the victory.
"We are extremely pleased with the field we have assembled for the 2011 CIT," said Riley Wallace who is the chairman of the selection committee. "I think the committee did an outstanding job of identifying teams early on, which made the process easier."
Established in 2009 with 16 teams, the tournament expanded to 24 this season.
The entire 24 team field includes Air Force (15-15), Buffalo (18-13), East Carolina (18-15), East Tennessee State (22-11), Furman (22-10), Hawaii (18-12), Idaho (18-13), Iona (22-11), Jacksonville (19-11), Marshall (22-11), North Dakota (19-14), Northern Arizona (19-12), Northern Iowa (19-13), Ohio (18-15), Oral Roberts (19-15), Portland (20-11), Quinnipiac (22-9), Rider (23-10), San Francisco (17-14), Santa Clara (19-14), SMU (17-14), Tennessee Tech (20-12), Western Michigan (20-12) and Valparaiso (23-11).
The Lumberjacks are making their sixth national postseason appearance in school history and first in the CIT. NAU has played in the National Invitational Tournament (NIT) three times, including games in 1986, a loss to Louisiana Tech 67-61, 1997, a 101-75 loss at Arkansas, and 2006, a loss to Delaware 58-53. NAU also earned berths to the NCAA Tournament in both 1998 and 2000.
All 24 teams will compete in the first round, with four teams then getting a bye into the quarterfinals. The eight remaining teams will play for the right to advance to the quarters. The entire field will be seeded, based on a number of factors including RPI, strength of schedule, conference ranking, and geographic location.
Every game will be broadcast live through Fox College Sports Broadband, with the championship being televised on Fox College Sports on Wednesday, March 30. The single-elimination format will be played entirely at on-campus sites, which will be determined by seeding.
CollegeInsider.com Tournament Schedule
Buffalo (18-13) @ Quinnipiac (22-9) 7:00 pm
Ohio (18-15) @ Marshall (22-11) 7:00 pm
Furman (22-10) @ East Tennessee State (22-11) 7:00 pm
Jacksonville (19-11) @ East Carolina (18-15) 8:00 pm
Rider (23-10) @ Northern Iowa (19-13) 8:00 pm
North Dakota (19-14) @ Air Force (15-15) 9:00 pm
Northern Arizona (19-12) @ Santa Clara (19-14) 10:00 pm
Portland (20-11) @ Hawaii (18-12) 12:00 am (midnight)
Tennessee Tech (20-12) @ Western Michigan (20-12) 7:00 pm
Iona (22-11) @ Valparaiso (23-11) 8:00 pm
Oral Roberts (19-15) @ SMU (17-14) 8:00 pm
Idaho (18-13) @ San Francisco (17-14) 10:00 pm
SECOND ROUND: March 18-19
QUARTERFINALS: March 21-22
SEMIFINALS: March 25
2011 CIT CHAMPIONSHIP: March 30
All times Eastern