JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (March 14, 2016) – The ETSU men’s basketball team will return to the postseason for the 14th time in school history, as the Buccaneers learned Monday afternoon they have been invited to participate in the inaugural Vegas 16 tournament, which will be hosted at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nev., March 28-30.
The single-elimination event will feature eight teams from various conferences around the country. ETSU earned its invite by virtue of a 23-11 overall record, a RPI in the top 25 percent of the nation, and by winning 18 of its final 23 games this season. The Vegas 16 event will begin with quarterfinals scheduled for March 28th, semifinals on the 29th, and the finals on the 30th. Every round of the Vegas 16 will be broadcast on the CBS Sports Network.
ETSU will open the event against Louisiana Tech at 8:30 p.m. (PT) on March 28th in the quarterfinals. Other teams in the tournament will include Tennessee Tech, Old Dominion, UC Santa Barbara, Northern Illinois, Oakland and Towson.
“It’s an honor and a privilege to be invited to the inaugural Las Vegas 16 tournament,” said ETSU head coach Steve Forbes. “What a tremendous reward for an outstanding season. Our team is thankful for the opportunity and we look forward to the challenge. We are excited to play more meaningful games in March.”
ETSU Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Dr. Richard Sander said this event is a worthy reward for a Buccaneers’ team that made the 2015-16 season so memorable.
“This team definitely has earned the opportunity to play in the postseason,” Sander said. “Winning 23 games, having a non-conference strength of schedule of 63, and an RPI of 86 is a resume that speaks to the success of this team. When you carefully look at those numbers and see the progress in one year, the future is unbelievably bright.”
The Buccaneers have made 13 previous trips to the postseason, which includes nine NCAA Tournament berths (1968, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 2003, 2004, 2009, 2010), two NIT appearances (1983 and 2007) and two CIT trips (2011 and 2014).
The Vegas 16 first round matchups include:
Monday, March 28
Tuesday, March 29
Wednesday, March 30
For more on the Vegas 16 Tournament, visit www.vegas16.com.