Hofstra to face Evansville in CBI tourney
Although Hofstra tied for second place during the regular season in a conference that sent three teams to the NCAA Tournament, the Pride did not get an NIT invitation Sunday night.
For the second straight season, Hofstra will compete in the College Basketball Invitational. The Pride (21-11) will play at Evansville (15-15) at 8:05 p.m. Tuesday in the first round of the 16-team tournament, it was announced late Sunday night. The winner of Tuesday night's game will meet the Austin Peay-Boise State winner in the second round next Monday.
The invitation to the CBI will give Hofstra star Charles Jenkins an opportunity to become the 62nd player in Division I history to score 2,500 career points. He is at 2,499.
BYU's Jimmer Fredette edged past Jenkins over the weekend, scoring 82 points (52-30) in his final two games in the Mountain West Tournament to give him 2,501. Fredette, Jenkins and Andrew Goudelock of Charleston (2,488) are in a three-way race for the active career scoring lead.
Jenkins, who is sixth in the nation in scoring at 22.9 points per game, trails only Navy's David Robinson (2,669 points) in Colonial Athletic Association history.
The CBI features a best-of-three championship round. Last year, it was won by Virginia Commonwealth. James Madison, Davidson, Oregon, Central Florida, St. Bonaventure, Weber State, San Jose State, Creighton, Duquesne, Montana, Miami (Ohio) and Rhode Island also are in this year's tournament.
It will be the Pride's fifth postseason appearance in the last seven years, including three straight NIT bids from 2005-07, and the 10th Division I postseason bid in program history (four NCAA, four NIT, two CBI).
Hofstra and Evansville have never played in men's basketball before. Sophomore swingman Ryan Colt (15.7 ppg) is the only player on Evansville averaging in double figures this season.
Hofstra's chances of making the NIT, the oldest postseason tournament, took a hit when many regular-season champions lost their conference tournaments and fell short of the NCAAs. The NIT does have some big names, including Colorado, Virginia Tech, Alabama, Boston College and Harvard, which lost in the last second of a special tiebreaker with Princeton for the Ivy League title.
Colorado and Virginia Tech were selected as No. 1 seeds for the NIT and will play Wednesday night in the opening round. The other top seeds are Boston College and Alabama. The championship game is March 31 at Madison Square Garden.
-- APWith Mark Herrmann