Men's basketball prepares for NIT



Image: NITThe men's basketball will turn its attention to another postseason opportunity next week when pairings are announced for the upcoming National Invitation Tournament (NIT). The Stags earned an automatic bid to the prestigious tournament by winning the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) regular-season title.

Not only are the Stags in it, they may receive a first-round home game at Webster Bank Arena at Harbor Yard. In anticipation of that possibility, fans can now reserve their tickets for a home game by contacting Fairfield University ticket manager Helen Smaldone through e-mail through Sunday. Credit card information is required to hold tickets and the card will be charged upon Fairfield hosting a first-round game.

After Sunday, tickets can be purchased through www.ticketmaster.com. Ticket prices for the first-round game are listed as $15 and $9 while a student ticket is available at $7 for any student with a college ID or children who are 12 years old or younger.

Fans will also have the opportunity to join Head Coach Ed Cooley and his team on Sunday night for the NIT selection show. The coaching staff and student-athletes will watch the show in the lower level of the Barone Campus Center. The gathering begins at 8:30 p.m. with the show starting at 9 p.m. on ESPNU.

This year's bid marks the sixth trip to the NIT for the Stags, also advancing to the prestigious tournament in 1973, 1974, 1978, 1996, and 2003. Fairfield's first postseason came in the 1973 tournament, an 80-76 decision over Marshall University. It was the program's only postseason win until the Stags defeated George Mason University in the Collegeinsider.com Postseason Tournament last year, a game in which Fairfield trailed by 27 in the second half before posting a 101-96 victory in overtime.

The Stags will enter the NIT tournament with a 24-7 record after splitting a pair of games in the MAAC tournament. Fairfield opened the event with a 55-31 win over Marist College, setting a tournament record for least amount of points scored in a MAAC tournament game. The defensive effort should be no surprise to Stag fans as the team has been ranked in the national stats for scoring defense all season long. The team is currently ranked fifth in the nation by allowing 58 points per game.

Fairfield has already set a school record for regular-season wins in a season with 23 and is tied for the most wins in a season with 24.

For complete information on all Fairfield University basketball postseason play, please check fairfieldstags.com or go to Fairfield Tournament Central.

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Media Contact: Jack Jones, (203) 254-4116

Posted on March 9, 2011