March 15, 2009
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
It was announced Sunday night by the College Basketball Invitational (CBI) Tournament Committee that they have selected the University of Wyoming Cowboys to be one of the 16 teams to participate in the Second Annual CBI Tournament. Wyoming will host Northeastern University of Boston, Mass., on Tuesday, March 17 at 7 p.m., Mountain Time. The CBI is run by the Gazelle Group.
The CBI bid comes in only the second season under the direction of head coach Heath Schroyer, and is the first postseason tournament bid for the Cowboys in six seasons. The most recent postseason appearance by the Pokes came in the 2002-03 season when UW appeared in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT).
The Cowboys will enter the CBI with an overall record of 19-13. Wyoming will be going for its 20th win of the season on Tuesday night. Only 18 teams in the 104-year history of Wyoming Basketball have won 20 games in a single season. This year's team becomes only the 23rd Cowboy squad to appear in a postseason basketball tournament. UW has appeared in 14 NCAA Tournaments and eight National Invitation Tournaments through the years.
"I think this is a tribute to the student-athletes and coaches that they have been able to turn our program in a positive direction in such a short amount of time," said UW Athletics Director Tom Burman. "I know our fans remember the excitement generated by the Cowgirl Basketball program in their run to the WNIT Championship two years ago, and I hope our fans are looking forward to coming out Tuesday night to support the Cowboys in their first home game of the CBI."
"It is hard to put into words what this means to our players and coaches," said Schroyer. "This is a big step in the development of our program. Our kids have worked extremely hard, and we are really, really excited to have this opportunity. Only about a third of the over 300 NCAA Division I programs get a chance to play in the postseason each year, so this is special.
"The fans have been so supportive of us this season. I hope they will come out to recognize our kids for their hard work, help us try to get our 20th win of the season and take another step in this tournament."
The Northeastern Huskies finished the 2008-09 season with an overall record of 18-12 and a conference mark of 12-6. They tied for third place in the Colonial Athletic Association this season with Old Dominion. The CAA was won by Virginia Commonwealth (VCU), with George Mason finishing in second place.
Ticket prices for Tuesday night's game between Wyoming and Northeastern are: $18 for adult tickets in the lower level, $15 for adult tickets in the upper level and $6 for youth and student tickets. Tickets will go on sale on Monday, March 16 at 8 a.m. through the University of Wyoming Athletics Ticket Office and online at www.WyomingAthletics.com. Ticket office phone numbers are: (800) 922-9461 and (307) 766-4850.
Season-ticket holders can reserve the same seats they had during the regular season by calling the Athletics Ticket Office prior to 10 a.m. on Tuesday, March 17.
Wyoming becomes the second Mountain West Conference team to participate in the CBI. Utah played in the inaugural CBI last season. Utah defeated, 81-69, UTEP in El Paso, Texas, in the First Round of the 2008 CBI before losing at Tulsa by a score of 69-60. Tulsa went on to defeat Bradley in the unique "Best of Three" Championship Series that was introduced by the CBI in 2008 and will continue again this year.
The College Basketball Invitational is a single-elimination tournament, up until the "Best of Three" Championship Series, with all games being played at campus sites. Prior to the semifinals, the remaining teams will be re-seeded. The Championship Series is a "Best of Three" (home-away-home) in which the higher seeded team will host the first and last (if necessary) home games.