The Morehead State men's basketball team has accepted a bid to the 2014 College Basketball Invitational (CBI). The Eagles are set to visit Missouri Valley Conference opponent Illinois State in the opening round on Wednesday (March 19) at 8 p.m.
Tickets will be available by calling the Illinois State ticket office at 309-438-8000 or visiting GoRedbirds.com.
The winner of Morehead State and Illinois State will face either Mountain West Conference opponent Wyoming or Southeastern Conference foe Texas A&M.
"We are honored and grateful for this opportunity in the College Basketball Invitational. Our goal was to win the OVC and play in the NCAA Tournament, but any type of postseason berth is still quite an accomplishment,” said MSU Head Coach Sean Woods.
Morehead State, which is 20-13 overall and finished 10-6 in Ohio Valley Conference play, has earned its fourth postseason appearance in the past six seasons. The Eagles played in the 2009 and 2011 NCAA Tournaments, in addition to the 2010 CBI.
Morehead State has improved its overall record by five games after finishing 15-18 last season. The Eagles have reached the 20-win plateau four times in the past six years after accomplishing that feat just twice in the program's first 79 campaigns.
"It feels good to win 20 games and play in the postseason. Our program continues to be on the rise. We feel like we improved in 2013-14, and it's our goal to do that each season. Being invited to the CBI recognizes our team's progress,” added Woods.
Illinois State, which is 16-15 overall and finished 9-9 in the Missouri Valley, is making its fifth postseason appearance in the last seven years and 19th overall. The Redbirds, who were invited to the NIT in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012, are playing in their first CBI.
The 16-team CBI is one of four national postseason tournaments. It is coordinated by the Gazelle Group, a New Jersey-based sports marketing firm which specializes in event production and management, client representation and sponsorship consulting.
The CBI's opening round takes place on Tuesday or Wednesday. The quarterfinal round is slated for March 24, while the semifinal round is set for March 26. The best-of-three championship series begins on March 31. All games will be played at campus sites.
Past CBI champions include Oregon, Oregon State, Pittsburgh, Tulsa and VCU. Teams from nearly every major conference and mid-major league have participated in the event. CBS Sports Network will televise two quarterfinal games and the championship series.
"We've used the past week to work on us. Now that we know our opponent, we will start to prepare for Illinois State. It's a quick turnaround, but everyone is in the same boat. Illinois State is a quality opponent, and we will have to play well to advance,” commented Woods.