TOLEDO, OH - The Toledo men's basketball program's remarkable turnaround season is going to continue thanks to an invitation to compete in the 2012 CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament. The Rockets will host McNeese State (17-15, 10-6 Southland) on Tuesday, March 13 at 7:00 p.m. in Savage Arena. The Cowboys, who advanced to the Southland Conference Tournament Championship game before falling to Lamar, are led by senior G Patrick Richard's 18.1 ppg and 3.2 apg.
Tickets for the contest will go on sale Monday, March 12 at 10:00 a.m. at the UT Ticket Office or by calling (419) 530-GOLD. Ticket prices are $14.00 and $10.00 with UT students admitted for free with their valid id courtesy of the President's office. Parking will be free for the contest.
In addition, Rocket season ticketholders have until 4:00 p.m. on Monday to purchase their seats before they are made available to the general public.
UT enjoyed one of the top turnaround seasons in the country under second-year Head Coach Tod Kowalczyk. After posting a 4-28 mark last year, the Rockets won 18 games this season to tie Manhattan for the second-biggest win improvement in the nation. USC-Upstate ranks first with a plus-15 win differential.
"We're extremely excited to be selected to participate in postseason play, and it's a great reward for the hard work by everyone in our program this season," said Kowalczyk, who has guided teams to three postseason appearances in the last four years. "I also think this is something that can help us build momentum for next season as we continue to grow our program."
UT finished 7-2 over its final nine games before falling to eventual tourney champion Ohio in the MAC Quarterfinals. Sophomore G Rian Pearson leads Toledo with 16.4 points (T-2nd in MAC), 8.5 rebounds (3rd) and 1.6 steals (8th) per game, and the second-team all-league selection is the only player in the Mid-American Conference to rank in the league's Top 10 in all three categories. The Rockets also have two more players scoring in double figures - junior G and honorable-mention All-MAC honoree Curtis Dennis (12.6 ppg, 3.6 rpg) and MAC Freshman of the Year Julius Brown (11.9 ppg, 4.8 apg).
The CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament is a single-elimination tournament, consisting of 32 schools, with all games played on campus sites. The opening round will be played on March 12-15, second round on March 16-18, quarterfinals on March 19-21, semifinals on March 22-24 and championship game on March 28.
Toledo is one of four MAC teams in the tournament. Bowling Green, Buffalo and Kent State have also accepted bids to the event. A year ago, three MAC teams played in the CIT as well with Buffalo and Ohio advancing to the quarterfinals and Western Michigan advancing to the second round.
COMPLETE FIRST ROUND SCHEDULE
TUESDAY MARCH 13
McNeese State @ Toledo 7:00
Robert Morris @ Indiana State 7:00
Tennessee State @ Mercer 7:00
Coastal Carolina @ Old Dominion 7:00
Tennessee Tech @ Georgia State 7:00
Utah Valley @ Weber State 9:00
WEDNESDAY MARCH 14
Manhattan @ Albany 7:00
Yale @ Fairfield 7:00
Bowling Green @ Oakland 7:00
Buffalo @ American 7:30
North Dakota @ Drake 8:00
Rice @ UL-Lafayette 8:00
UC Santa Barbara @ Idaho 9:00
Cal State Bakersfield @ Utah State 10:00
Cal State Fullerton @ Loyola Marymount 10:00
THURSDAY MARCH 15
Kent State @ USC Upstate 7:00