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Monarchs To Host Coastal Carolina In CIT First Round Tuesday Night

Courtesy: ODU Athletics
         
Release: March 11, 2012
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March 11, 2012

NORFOLK, VA--The Old Dominion University Monarch (20-13) cagers will host the Chanticleers of Coastal Carolina (19-11) of the Big South Conference in the first round of the fourth annual CollegeInsider.com Post Season Tournament in the Ted Constant Convocation Center Tuesday, March 13 at 7 p.m.

Tickets will go on sale Monday, March 12 at noon in the Constant Center box office, and online at www.coxtix.com. All tickets will be general admission, at $10 for adults and $5 for ODU faculty-staff, youth, military and senior citizens. Discount tickets will only be sold at the box office with proof of an ODU ID. This is the Monarchs eighth straight post season tournament and second in the CIT. ODU won the Inaugural tournament in 2009, beating Bradley, 66-62 in Peoria as Frank Hassell was named Tournament MVP. ODU's four current seniors were freshmen on that 25-10 squad. ODU has also won 20 or more games in seven of the last eight seasons.

Coastal Carolina, is coached by Cliff Ellis who is in his fifth season. Coastal Carolina finished second to UNC Asheville in the Big South regular season with a 12-6 record. Leading the Chanticleers are All-Big South selections Anthony Raffa and Chris Gradnigo.

Raffa, a 6-1 junior averaged 16.7 points per game and shot .489 from the field and .74 percent from the free throw line. He also hit .36 percent of his three-pointers. Gradnigo, a 6-7 senior averaged 14.9 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. He hit .79 percent from the free throw line. Kierre Greenwood, a 6-2 junior also averages in double figures at 11.4 points per game and is shooting .47 percent from the floor.

Coastal is averaging 72.7 points per game, while giving up 65.8. The Chanticleers have a plus 6.2 rebound margin (20th nationally) and are shooting .488 from the field which is eighth best nationally. Coastal defeated LSU, 71-63 and Clemson, 60-59 earlier this season. They did not play any teams from the Colonial this year.

ODU and Coastal have met only once before, with the Monarchs winning, 81-67 in 2001-02 season game played in ODU's old fieldhouse. ODU comes into the game ranked in seven national categories. Individually Chris Cooper in 19th in rebounding at 10.2 and eighth in double-doubles with 17. Kent Bazemore, the two-time CAA Defensive Player of the Year ranks 32nd in steals at 2.1. As a team, ODU is 31st in field goal percentage defense (40.), 47th in scoring defense (61.0), 24th in rebound margin (+5.9) and 11th in steals at 8.8.

Santa Clara won last year's tournament title over Iona, 76-69 and Missouri State captured the 2010 crown with a 78-65 win over Pacific. For the fourth time in as many seasons, the CIT Championship game will be broadcast live Wednesday March 28 on Fox College Sports with Dave Baker and Kyle Macy as the announcers. The CIT will release the complete bracket later tonight.

Blaine Taylor QUOTES: "Just the very term - post season play starts getting you giddy with possibilities. In our setting we have come to appreciate all the hard work and effort that goes into having the kind of season which gives us a chance to play beyond selection Sunday.

I think our administration's support from day one lends itself to having the opportunity to play into March. Our kids know the history of having competed In the CIT, recognize how good the teams are, how difficult the challenge is and also how exciting and rewarding it could be to have some success.

My memories are good teams, good players, good coaches, but I remember tears running down cheeks of players with sheer joy after winning the first championship in their lives.

It doesn't take very long to glance at Coastal's schedule and results and see LSU and Clemson go down, and go wow... And then at the kind of year that they and UNC Asheville have had and say we better get ready. I think it's noteworthy that Cliff Ellis has tremendous name value both regionally, and nationally.

It all lends to a very interesting set-up which this time of year is just mindboggling to keep track of all the great things going on and we get a chance to be a part of it." - Blaine Taylor.

CIT PAIRINGS

All Times EST

TUESDAY MARCH 13 Robert Morris (24-10) @ Indiana State (18-14) 7:00 Tennessee State (20-12) @ Mercer (22-11) 7:00 Coastal Carolina (19-11) @ Old Dominion (20-13) 7:00 Tennessee Tech (19-13) @ Georgia State (21-11) 7:00 McNeese State (17-15) @ Toledo (18-16) 7:00 Utah Valley (20-12) @ Weber State (24-6) 9:00

WEDNESDAY MARCH 14 Manhattan (20-12) @ Albany (19-14) 7:00 Yale (19-9) @ Fairfield (19-14) 7:00 Bowling Green (16-15) @ Oakland (17-15) 7:00 Buffalo (19-10) @ American (20-11) 7:30 North Dakota (17-14) @ Drake (17-15) 8:00 Rice (17-15) @ UL-Lafayette (16-15) 8:00 UC Santa Barbara (20-10) @ Idaho (18-13) 9:00 CSU Bakersfield (16-14) @ Utah State (17-15) 10:00 Cal State Fullerton (21-9) @ Loyola Marymount (19-12) 10:00

THURSDAY MARCH 15 Kent State (21-11) @ USC Upstate (20-12) 7:00

Note: The fourth annual CIT will once again use the old NIT model in which matchups in future rounds are determined by the results of the previous round.

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