The Canisius Golden Griffins will meet VMI in the first round of the 2014 CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT), the CIT committee announced tonight. The Griffs and the Keydets will play in the Koessler Athletic Center March 18 at 7 p.m. Tickets, which go on sale Monday, March 17 at 10 a.m., cost $15 for reserved seats and $10 for general admission.
The Griffs will be hosting a national postseason game for the second-straight year after the Blue and Gold played at home in the CIT first round and quarterfinal round last March. This marks the first time in the program’s 110-year history where Canisius has hosted postseason games in back-to-back years.
Canisius is 21-12 this and the team posted a 14-6 record in MAAC play in 2013-14. The 21 wins are the most for the Canisius program since the 1994-95 season and the team is one win shy of matching the school’s single-season win record of 22, which is held by both the 1956-57 and 1993-94 teams. Canisius earned the No. 4 seed in last week’s MAAC Championship in Springfield, Mass., and advanced to the semifinal round of the conference tournament with a 71-65 win over Siena. That semifinal appearance was Canisius’ first since 2002.
VMI, out of the Big South Conference, is making its first postseason appearance in 37 years. The Keydets are 19-12 and the team reached the Big South Tournament semifinals this year, the program’s sixth trip to the conference semifinals in the last eight years. VMI leads the nation in scoring average at 87.7 points per game and the team’s winning record is its third winning campaign in the last four years.
The Keydets have three players averaging better than 18 points per game, led by freshman guard QJ Peterson, who averages 19.4 points per game. Senior forward D.J. Covington averages 18.7 points and a team-high 9.4 rebounds per game. He was named the Big South Defensive Player of the Year thanks to his 209 defensive rebounds and 96 total blocked shots, which ranks him 10th in the nation in blocks per game. Senior guard Rodney Glasgow is good for 18.4 points per game and 5.6 assists per outing for the Keydets, which reached 70-plus points on the scoreboard in 26 of the team’s 31 contests this year.VMI last participated in postseason play in 1977 when it advanced to the Sweet 16 before falling to Kentucky in the East Regional in College Park, Maryland. The 2014 CIT will the fourth basketball postseason tourney overall in program history, as the Keydets have also participated in the 1964 and 1976 NCAA tournaments, reaching the Elite Eight in 1976.