UL will host Rice University in CollegeInsider.com Tourney

LAFAYETTE — The University of Louisiana at Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns men’s basketball team will host Rice today at 7:05 p.m. in the Cajundome in a first round game of the seventh annual CollegeInsider.com Tournament.

The game will be the first time that UL will play in postseason tournament play since the 2002-03 season.

“We are excited about playing in the CIT,” ULL head coach Bob Marlin said. “It will benefit the program any time you get an opportunity to extend your season and play in a postseason tournament. It will be a good learning experience for the team and it will help us to continue to develop the program in the future.

“I have known Joe (Dwyer), Angela (Lento) and the rest of the staff at CollegeInsider.com for a number of years and they are good people,” Marlin added. “They are good for college basketball, especially the mid-major schools, and they run a first rate tournament.”

Rice finished 17-15 this season, including a 65-58 win at Texas A&M in December. The Owls went 8-8 to finish seventh in Conference USA play but dropped a 68-66 decision to East Carolina in the opening round of the league tourney.

Louisiana holds a 6-5 lead in the all-time series against Rice. The two teams last met on Nov. 27, 2004, with the Ragin’ Cajuns claiming a 75-61 win.

The Ragin’ Cajuns carry a 16-15 record into the postseason, the most wins since the 2002-03 season when UL went 20-10.

The game will mark the 11th postseason appearance for the Ragin’ Cajuns since the program moved to the Division I level for the 1970-71 season. It will be the first time that the Cajuns will play in the CIT.

The CIT is a 24-team tournament that will feature 12 first-round games. Four of the teams that win first-round games will advance to the quarterfinals, while the other eight teams will play for the right to advance to the quarterfinals.

Santa Clara defeated Iona, 76-69, to win the 2011 CIT.

If the Ragin’ Cajuns advance, the second round of the tournament will be held from Friday until Sunday. The quarterfinals are set for March 20-21, with the semi-finals being played on either March 23 or 24. The championship game, scheduled for March 28, will be televised nationally on Fox College Sports.

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