Men's College Basketball
Rider Heading to Hartford for CIT
WEST HARTFORD, Conn.--The Rider University men's basketball team will play the University of Hartford of the America East Conference Tuesday in the first round of Fifth Annual CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament.
Tickets for the 7:00 p.m. tip are available for purchase after 12:00 p.m. on March 13 by contacting the Malcolm and Brenda Berman Athletics Ticket Office. The box office, located in the Reich Family Pavilion (Sports Center), can also be reached by calling 860-768-HAWK or tickets can be purchased online via
Hartford Hawk Tickets. The Box Office will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturday. Ticket prices are: general admission ($5), gallery seating ($12), lower chair back ($15), courtside ($20) and VIP ($30).
"Hartford had a great year in the America East Conference and we are excited to have the opportunity to play a very good team in the CIT tournament," said Rider head coach Kevin Baggett, who is a finalist for two different Division I Coach of the Year Awards, among Rookie Head Coaches and among Minority Head Coaches.
Rider (18-14) won its final five games of the regular season to finish in second place (12-6) in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. The Broncs were upset in the MAAC quarterfinals by Fairfield, a team Rider lost to three times this season.
Hartford (17-13) is making a postseason appearance for the first time since making the jump to Division I for the 1984-85 season. After matching the program record for regular season wins, the Hartford Hawks, who boast one of the youngest rosters in the nation with six sophomores and four freshmen, fell short of making their third-straight semifinal round appearance in the America East Championship last weekend in Albany, suffering a 69-62 loss as the third-seed to the sixth-seeded UMBC Retrievers.
This is Rider's fourth postseason tournament in the last six years. In 2011 Rider played Northern Iowa in the CIT. In 2009 the Broncs played Liberty in the CIT. In 2008 Rider played Old Dominion in the CBI.
The 17 victories are one shy of matching the program record, which was established in the 2007-08 season. Hartford, which posted a 10-win season in league play for the first time in five years, was just as successful in its non-conference slate, posting a winning record for just the fourth time in its 28-years as a member of NCAA Division I men's basketball. The above .500 record (7-6) was the Hawks' best mark in non-league games since 1996-97.
Hartford is piloted by third-year head coach John Gallagher, who was recently tabbed the America East Coach of the Year by CollegeInsider.com.
Sophomore Mark Nwakamma also grabbed postseason hardware for Hartford, as he was named to the America East First Team All-Conference. Nwakamma led Hartford in scoring with 14.6 points per game.
Rider and Hartford have met once in men's basketball, in 2004-05, a 68-57 loss in the first round of the Oneida Bingo and Casino Classic, hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.
The 2009 and 2010 CITs consisted of 16 teams. In 2011 it was expanded to 24 teams and last year it expanded to 32 teams. Teams are bracketed geographically.
First Round games are March 18-20. The teams will then be bracketed for the Second Round March 22-24. The Quarterfinals are March 26-27, the Semifinals March 29-30 and the Championship Game is April 2.
FIRST ROUND Times Eastern
Tuesday, March 19
Eastern Kentucky (24-9) at Gardner-Webb (21-12), 7 p.m.
Fairfield (19-15) at Kent State (20-13), 7 p.m.
Savannah State (19-14) at East Carolina (18-12), 7 p.m.
Rider (18-14) at Hartford (17-13), 7 p.m.
Oakland (16-16) at Youngstown State (17-15), 7:05 p.m.
Boston U. (17-12) at Loyola (Md) (21-11), 7:30 p.m.
Tennessee State (18-14) at Evansville (18-14), 8 p.m.
North Dakota (16-16) at Northern Iowa (18-14), 8 p.m.
Wednesday, March 20
Elon (21-11) at Canisius (18-13), 7 p.m.
Green Bay (18-15) at Bradley (16-16), 8 p.m.
South Alabama (17-12) at Tulane (19-14), 8 p.m.
Chicago State (11-21) at Illinois-Chicago (17-15), 8 p.m.
Oral Roberts (18-14) at UT Arlington (19-13), 8:30 p.m.
High Point (17-13) at UC Irvine (20-15), 10 p.m.
Cal Poly (18-13) at Weber State (26-6), 10 p.m.
Air Force (17-13) at Hawaii (17-14), 12 Mid
Saturday, March 23
Sunday, March 24
Tuesday, March 26
Wednesday, March 27
Saturday, March 30
Sunday, March 31
Wednesday, April 3