Utah State to Host Cal State Bakersfield Wednesday in CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament
March 11, 2012
LOGAN, Utah - Utah State men's basketball will participate in postseason action for a school-record 13th-straight year after receiving and accepting an invitation Sunday evening to continue its season in the fourth annual CollegeInsider.com Tournament against Cal State Bakersfield. Overall, this will be USU's 30th postseason appearance in school history.
Utah State (17-15) will host independent Cal State Bakersfield (16-14) in the first round of the postseason CollegeInsider.com Tournament (CIT) on Wednesday, March 14 at 7 p.m. (MT), inside the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. Overall, 32 teams will participate in this year's CIT.
"I'm pleased that we were able to finish league play on a positive note and make ourselves eligible for postseason competition," said veteran Utah State head coach Stew Morrill. "Once we were eliminated from our conference tournament we were hopeful we would get an opportunity to continue playing and I'm happy for our players that they played themselves into the postseason."
Utah State had participated in each of the last three NCAA Tournaments prior to this year and has played in eight NCAA Tournaments (2000, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011) and four National Invitation Tournaments (2002, 2004, 2007, 2008) in the previous 12 years under Morrill. This year's appearance in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament will be USU's first in school history.
"It's very positive that we are continuing our run in the postseason making our 13th-straight appearance this year. Obviously, you would like to play in the NCAA Tournament every year, but anytime you're invited to play in a postseason tournament that is definitely a positive for your program," added Morrill.
Overall, Utah State's 13 straight postseason appearances are tied for the 11th-longest active streak in the nation along with Notre Dame. USU's previous school record for consecutive postseason appearances was three from 1962-64 and from 1978-80.
All-time, Utah State is 8-31 (.205) in postseason play with a 6-22 (.214) record in 20 appearances in the NCAA Tournament and a 2-9 (.182) mark in nine trips to the NIT. Overall, USU has lost 11 straight postseason games with its last win coming against Ohio State, 77-68 OT, in the first round of the 2001 NCAA Tournament.
This year's home game against Cal State Bakersfield marks the fifth time in school history that Utah State has hosted a postseason contest, but is 0-4 in those matchups, losing to Louisiana-Lafayette (94-92) in 1984, Illinois State (93-87 OT) in 1995, Montana State (77-69) in 2002, and Hawai'i (85-74) in 2004 as all four of those games were in the NIT.
Utah State is 17-15 on the season after losing to fifth-seeded Louisiana Tech (72-70) in the quarterfinals of the 2012 Western Athletic Conference postseason tournament last weekend in Las Vegas. USU entered the WAC Tournament as the fourth-seed after finishing league play with an 8-6 record. Overall, Utah State has won five of its last eight games heading into the CIT.
Cal State Bakersfield is 16-14 overall and has won each of its last three games as it defeated San Diego (72-63) and Nebraska-Omaha (84-63) at home, to go along with an overtime road win at New Jersey Tech (72-70). This year, CSUB posted the program's best-ever record in its short Division I history and their best record since the 2005-06 team finished 21-8 in their final season of NCAA Division II membership. During the regular season, the Roadrunners posted a 6-11 road record. This is Cal State Bakersfield's first-ever postseason appearance at the Division I level.
All-time, Utah State is 6-0 against Cal State Bakersfield including a 4-0 home record. The last time the two teams played one another was on Dec. 11, 2010 with the Aggies posting a 77-58 home win. Overall, this will be the sixth-straight year that the two teams will have met.
Overall, Utah State has a combined 5-9 (.357) record against postseason teams on its 2011-12 schedule as it went 1-3 against the 68-team NCAA Tournament field (1-0 vs. BYU, 0-1 vs. Wichita State, 0-2 vs. New Mexico State); 1-3 against the 32-team NIT field (1-0 vs. UT Arlington, 0-1 vs. Mississippi State, 0-2 vs. Nevada); and 3-3 against the 32-team CIT field (1-0 vs. Kent State, 1-0 vs. Utah Valley, 1-1 vs. Idaho, 0-1 vs. UC Santa Barbara, 0-1 vs. Weber State).
Utah State is led by sophomore guard Preston Medlin who is averaging 16.3 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.3 assists, while shooting 49.3 percent from the field, 42.6 percent from three-point range and 79.5 percent at the free throw line. Utah State has two other players scoring in double-figures as senior guard Brockeith Pane is averaging 12.4 points and 3.9 assists, while junior forward Kyisean Reed is averaging 9.7 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game. Senior forward Morgan Grim is averaging 8.6 points and a team-best 5.9 rebounds on the season. As a team, Utah State is averaging 67.2 points and shooting 47.2 percent from the field, 36.8 percent from three-point range and 70.3 percent at the free throw line. Defensively, USU is allowing 64.0 points and its opponents are shooting 41.9 percent from the field, 32.9 percent from three-point range and 66.2 percent at the free throw line.
If Utah State advances, the second round of the tournament will be held from March 16-18. The quarterfinals are set for March 20-21 with the semi-finals being played on either March 23-24. The championship game is scheduled for Wednesday, March 28 and will be televised nationally on Fox College Sports.
Of the 32 teams in this years CollegeInsider.com Tournament, five are teams that Utah State has already played this season as it defeated Idaho (67-50), Kent State (81-62) and Utah Valley (63-54), and lost to Idaho (57-54), UC Santa Barbara (72-64) and Weber State (73-63).
Tickets for the first round of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament will be available for purchase beginning at 10 a.m. on Monday, March. 12. Ticket prices for the game are $17 for adults and $5 for USU students with a valid student ID, while current Jr. Aggie members will receive free admission. Fans can also purchase tickets on-line 24 hours a day at UtahStateAggies.com.
The fourth annual CIT will once again use the old NIT model in which matchups in future rounds are determined by the results of the previous round and as such there is no formal bracket for the tournament.
2012 CollegeInsider.com Tournament Field TUESDAY MARCH 13 Robert Morris @ Indiana State, 5:00 Tennessee State @ Mercer, 5:00 Coastal Carolina @ Old Dominion, 5:00 Tennessee Tech @ Georgia State, 5:00 McNeese State @ Toledo, 5:00 Utah Valley @ Weber State, 7:00