News From Terre Haute, Indiana

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March 15, 2010

ISU men draw Billikens in CBI tournament

TERRE HAUTE — It isn’t the NCAA Tournament or even the NIT, but Indiana State’s men’s basketball program is postseason bound for the first time since 2001.

ISU will participate in the College Basketball Invitational and will play at Saint Louis at 9 p.m. on Tuesday. A source at ISU confirmed early Monday morning that ISU was in the field and that it will play at SLU.

The game will be televised nationally on HDNet. SLU plays at its on-campus Chaifetz Arena.

If ISU beats the Billikens, it will play the winner of Wisconsin-Green Bay and Akron on March 22 at a site to be determined.

The rest of the CBI field was not known at press time.

ISU hasn’t played SLU since the 1991 season. The Sycamores are 4-9 all-time against SLU.

The Rick Majerus-coached Billikens finished 20-11 and were 11-5 in the Atlantic 10 Conference, good for fourth place as every A10 team ahead of SLU qualified for the NCAA Tournament. Guard Kwamain Mitchell (16.1 points per game), forward Willie Reed (11.7) and forward Cody Ellis (10.4) are the Billikens’ top scores.

ISU will play without guard Harry Marshall, who broke his foot in ISU’s Missouri Valley Conference Tournament loss to Illinois State on March 5.

The College Basketball Invitational, which has a 16-team field, is in its third year of existence. It is a private tournament run by the Gazelle Group, which also runs several nonconference exempt tournaments such as the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic and the O’Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic, which has its championship round in Kansas City.

The CBI is unique as it has a best-of-3 championship component. Tulsa bested Bradley in three games in 2008 CBI championship. Oregon State beat Texas-El Paso in three games in 2009.

ISU also expressed interest in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament. There was the hope that ISU could host a game in the tournament, the guarantee to host a game in the CIT was roughly half as much as it is to host a game in the CBI — $60,000, according to ISU sources. ISU did not intend to pay the guarantee to host a CBI game.

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