The Furman men’s basketball team is set to make its first postseason appearance since 1991 after accepting an invitation to the 2011 CollegeInsiders.com Tournament (CIT), it was announced on Thursday by Furman University Athletics Director Dr. Gary Clark.
The Paladins, who have posted a 22-10 record this season and advanced to the semifinals of this past weekend’s Southern Conference Men’s Basketball Championships, will open tournament play on the road next Tuesday or Wednesday in the third annual CIT.
“We feel like the CollegeInsiders.com Tournament presents an excellent opportunity for our men’s basketball team to continue its season and compete for a championship against outstanding competition,” said Clark. “The tournament experience will be a fitting reward for this team, especially the senior class.”
Furman will find out its opponent and opening round date when the full 24-team CollegeInsiders.com Tournament field is announced on Sunday evening. The CIT begins with 12 first round games. The top four remaining seeds following those games will receive a second round bye and await the winners of the four second round games.
The Paladins, who notched the school’s first 20-win season in 20 years and have recorded the most victories by a Furman team since going 23-9 in 1979-80, will be making their first postseason appearance since losing to West Virginia in the opening round of the 1991 NIT.
Senior and All-SoCon selection Amu Saaka has led the Paladins this season averaging 16.0 points and 6.6 rebounds per game to rank as the only league player to place in the top 10 in both categories. The forward has headlined a 2011 senior class that also includes SoCon All-Tournament selection Jordan Miller, point guard Darryl Evans and the league’s top two three-point shooters; Noah States and Justin Dehm.
Old Dominion claimed the inaugural CollegeInsiders.com Tournament title in 2009 with Missouri State defeating Pacific to capture the championship in 2010.