Tennessee State locks in one postseason bid, waits on one other possibility

Wednesday, March 7, 2012 at 6:55pm
Staff reports

Tennessee State will play in the postseason for the first time since 1994.

On Wednesday, TSU accepted a bid to play in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT). The Tigers (20-12) will play in the CIT only if they don’t receive an at-large berth into the NIT.

This marks just the third postseason appearance in school history. TSU reached the NCAA Tournament in 1993 and 1994.

The CIT began in 2009 and features 24 teams. Past champions include Santa Clara, Missouri State and Old Dominion.

The Tigers open the single-elimination tournament on the road and will play either next Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. They’ll learn their first opponent and date on Sunday night. Other teams who have also accepted bids include Ohio Valley Conference foe Tennessee Tech, Mercer (Atlantic Sun) and Indiana State (Missouri Valley).

“We are certainly excited to be in postseason play. This team has earned the right,” TSU coach John Cooper said. “We look forward to getting better and being competitive. Our ultimate goal is to win the championship. I think we’ll bring some excitement and passion to [the CIT].”

TSU finished second in the Ohio Valley and won 10 of its final 12 games — the only losses coming to regular-season and tournament champ Murray State. The Tigers nearly upset Murray State in the OVC championship game on Saturday, falling 54-52.

TSU won 20 games for the first time since 1979 and locked up its first winning season in 16 years.