ECU Men To Play In CIT

GREENVILLE, N.C. --- For the second time in three years, East Carolina will participate in postseason play after accepting a bid to compete in the Postseason Tournament head coach Jeff Lebo announced Sunday.

Making the program’s fifth postseason appearance in its nearly 50-year Division I history, ECU will host Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) member Savannah State in the first round Tuesday, March 19, inside Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum at 7 p.m. It’ll be the first-ever meeting between the two schools.

“We are very excited about the opportunity to continue our season,” Lebo said. “This group has earned the right to have its season extended and play in the postseason. It’s another big step forward for our program.

“Savannah State is as good as a defensive team as we’ve played all season. They’re a very experienced group and know what it’s like to participate in postseason, playing at Tennessee in the NIT last year. They are a road tested team which played at UCF and Marshall and won at Campbell, a team we lost to at home. It’s going to be a tough, challenging game.”

Second-round CIT games will be played March 22-24, quarterfinal games March 26-27 and semifinal games March 29-30. The championship game will be played on April 2 and televised by CBS Sports Network. All games will be played on-campus sites.

Tickets for the 2013 CIT are $15 and are available on-line at Online Ticket Center. Season ticket holders have until 5 p.m. Monday to purchase their same season ticket location. The ECU athletic ticket office will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday and Tuesday. Fans may purchase tickets on-line or at the main athletic ticket office located off Berkley Dr. behind Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. Phone orders can also be placed by calling the ticket office at (252) 737-4500.

ECU Student tickets are available for $5 (a limit of one at this rate), students may purchase additional guest tickets for $15. Students may pick up their tickets beginning at 10 a.m. on Tuesday at the Minges Coliseum Box Office.

Parking at Minges Coliseum will be on a first-come, first-serve basis Tuesday night, except for tournament staff parking in the purple lot.

East Carolina last participated in the postseason and the CIT in 2011, suffering a 71-67 overtime loss to Jacksonville in the first round. The Pirates played that game without point guard Brock Young, who tore his ACL in the quarterfinals of the C-USA Championship. Jontae Sherrod led the Pirates with 26 points in his final game.

The Pirates finished the regular season with an overall record of 18-12 and tied for fourth-place in Conference USA with a program-best 9-7 league record. ECU won four of its final five regular season games before losing to C-USA championship tournament host Tulsa in the quarterfinals.

Savannah State compiled a 19-14 overall record and finished tied for third in the MEAC with a record of 11-5. The Tigers’ roster consists of one senior, seven juniors, four sophomores and one freshman for eighth-year head coach Horace Broadnax.