ECU Men Headed to CIT

GREENVILLE, N.C. --- The East Carolina men's basketball team accepted an invitation to play in the 2011 Postseason Tournament (CIT), marking its first postseason appearance since the 1993 NCAA Tournament.

ECU will play host to Jacksonville University on Tuesday at 8 p.m. EDT inside Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum.

"It's a very nice reward for a special season and our team is excited to continue playing," Pirate head coach Jeff Lebo said. "The Pirate Nation has created a significant home court advantage for us all year long and are ecstatic to be playing in front of them at least once more. We are looking forward to them creating another great environment for us Tuesday night."

Tickets for the 2011 CIT are $15 and are available on-line at Season ticket holders have until 5 p.m. Monday to purchase their same season ticket location. Any seats not purchased by 5 p.m. Monday will be released to the general public. 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. Due to the quick turnaround needed to accommodate ticket purchasers in an efficient manner, phone orders will not be accepted.

ECU Student tickets are available for $5 (a limit of one at this rate), students may purchase additional guest tickets for $15. Tickets may be ordered on-line at Students may pick up their tickets in person beginning Monday at noon at the Minges Coliseum Box Office. The box office will also be open for students at 10 a.m. Tuesday. ECU students will be required to show their ONECARD with their ticket for admission. Tickets are based on availability.

The Pirates earned the postseason berth after posting a 18-15 overall record and advanced to the semifinals of the 2011 Buick Conference USA Championships. ECU finished tied for seventh-place with a program-best eight wins in Conference USA play and advanced out of the first round of the championship tournament for the first time, after going winless in its first seven appearances.

Jacksonville compiled a 19-11 overall record and a 13-7 ledger in the Atlantic Sun Conference finishing in third-place. The Dolphins earned their signature win of the season on Dec. 20 with a 71-68 overtime victory at then-No. 20 Florida. JU participated in the NIT each of the previous two seasons after capturing consecutive A-Sun regular season championships. The Dolphins defeated Arizona State in the first round a year ago.

East Carolina has posted its first winning season in 14 years and second-most wins in its Division I history under first-year head coach Jeff Lebo. He has directed the biggest single-season turnaround in school's Division I history, matching the eight-game improvement between the 1967-68 and 1968-69 campaigns. A win in the first round of the CIT would match the record of 19 established by the 1974-75 team. It would also tie Lebo with former skipper Dave Patton for most wins by a first-year coach. Patton led the Pirates to 19 wins during the aforementioned 1974-75 campaign.

This season's CIT invitation marks the fourth time in ECU's Division I history that the Pirates has advanced to the postseason. Previously, East Carolina has made two NCAA Tournament appearances (1972 and '93) and played in the Collegiate Commissioner's Invitational in 1975.

The Postseason Tournament is a single-elimination men’s Division I college basketball tournament. The CIT consists of five rounds, with all five rounds being played at on-campus sites.