|THE 2009 CIT
by Greg Kampe, Oakland University
were excited to be a part of the inaugural CollegeInsider.com
Postseason Tournament (CIT). We finished the regular season 22-12
(13-5 in The Summit League).
Despite making up nearly two-thirds of men’s division I college
basketball programs, there are very few postseason opportunities
for mid-major schools. The introduction of the CollegeInsider.com
Postseason Tournament changed that. The CIT rewarded programs that
had outstanding seasons. Receiving an invitation was a big deal
for Oakland University and the 15 other participants.
Belmont University had been to three straight NCAA Tournaments,
nearly knocking off Duke University in 2008, but for all their
successes, they had never won a postseason game at the division I
level. Belmont went on the road and beat the University of
Evansville in the first round of the CIT. Liberty University also
recorded division I postseason wins for the first time in school
history, while the University of Idaho and James Madison
University each won a tournament game for the first time in over
25 years. The Citadel, a program steeped in tradition,
participated in the postseason for the first time in the 167-year
history of the college.
The first year of the CIT produced some exciting moments,
including a 79-foot buzzer beater by Bradley University against my
team. It is the longest shot to win a postseason game in the
history of division I college basketball. It certainly was an
impressive opening act for the inaugural CollegeInsider.com
CollegeInsider.com is one of the most respected entities in our
business and there is no doubt in my mind that the CIT has a very
bright future. With an ever-growing interest mid-major basketball,
the CIT will emerge as “the postseason event” for deserving
programs outside the proverbial power conferences.
Click on the team names
for the recap. Click on the score for the box score.
Old Dominion wins inaugural CollegeInsider.com tournament
PEORIA, Ill. (AP)--
Frank Hassell, playing with a stress fracture in his right leg,
had 18 points and a career high 15 rebounds to lead Old Dominion
to a 66-62 win over Bradley for the title of the inaugural
CollegeInsider.com tournament on Tuesday night in front of 8,118
at Carver Arena. ODU finished the season 8-6 on the road.
Marsharee Neely added 16 points for Old Dominion (25-10), of the
Colonial Athletic Association, which held off a late surge by
Bradley (21-15). Gerald Lee had 13 points.
The Monarchs were ahead 48-37 midway through the second half when
Bradley, of the Missouri Valley, fought back to 57-55 on Sam
Singh's jumper with 1:25 left. But the Braves couldn't get closer.
"I feel kind of bad for Bradley. They played a great game," said
Old Dominion coach Blaine Taylor. "But we won it, and we ain't
giving it back."
Old Dominion trailed by nine points in the first half before
Hassell's eight points and 10 rebounds helped spark a comeback.
The teams were tied at 28 at halftime.
"A lot of teams would have taken a knockout punch, the way we fell
behind early on," Taylor said. "They had a great crowd here
tonight and, boy, did they come ready to play. But I'm proud of
this young bunch and how they played under pressure."
Chris Roberts led Bradley with 15 points. Sam Maniscalco had 12
points and Theron Wilson added 11 for the Braves.
Bradley coach Jim Les said he knew his young team was in for a
tough game against a bigger, stronger opponent. Old Dominion
outrebounded Bradley 42-35, with several key offensive rebounds
late in the game.
"We respected who they are. They turned out to be just a little
bit bigger and tougher and they came up with the second-half
points when they needed them," Les said. "They really grabbed some
boards and had some dead-on putbacks late in the game."
Taylor said Hassell's, the championship game's most valuable
player, played much of the second half of the season with the
stress fracture. He played Tuesday's game with a light cast on his
lower calf and ankle.
"I'm just so glad we won," Hassell said. "It's the first
tournament championship I've ever won. Ever. What a great team and
what a great coach." Hassell got his third straight double-double
tonight, his fourth of the season, and fifth of his career.
Hassell hauled down nine offensive rebounds.
Joining Hassell on the all-tournament squad were fellow teammates
Marsharee Neely and Gerald Lee.
The 16 points by Marsharee Neely was his second highest of this
season. He scored 20 earlier this year against UNC Wilmington. Ben
Finney, who ranks in the top five of the CAA in steals came up
with two more along with two blocked shots.
The Monarchs finished the season winning 14 of their last 16
games. The win was the 25th of the year and the fourth time in
five years a Blaine Taylor ODU squad has won 24 or more games.
ODU's lone senior Jonathan Adams played in his 135th career game
which is a new ODU mark, breaking Brian Henderson's 134 of a year
Frank Hassell (Old Dominion)
Erik Kangas (Oakland)
Gerald Lee (Old Dominion)
Sam Maniscalco (Bradley)
Marsharee Neely (Old Dominion)
Chris Roberts (Bradley)
Theron Wilson (Bradley)
Frank Hassell (Old Dominion)
HONORABLE MENTION: Shy Ely (Evansville), Novar Gadson (Rider),
Devon Moore (James Madison), Demetrius Nelson (The Citadel), Nik
Raivio (Portland), Drake Reed (Austin Peay), Alex Renfroe
(Belmont), Anthony Smith (Liberty), Kyle Swantson (James Madison),
Sam Willard (Pacific)