March 2, 2009
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – MIT will face Rhode Island College in the opening round of its first NCAA Tournament appearance on Friday, March 6 at RIC’s Murray Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m.
Friday’s winner will advance to the second round to face either Skyline at-large selection Farmingdale State (24-3) or The Commonwealth Coast Conference champion and first-time tournament participant University of New England (24-4) on Saturday at 7 p.m.
Rhode Island College was selected to the field as an at-large team and will be making its third consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance. The Anchormen will enter the tourney boasting a 23-5 overall record. They lost at home against UMass Dartmouth in the Little East Championship Final, 62-53, a defeat that snapped a 14-game winning streak.
RIC, which is 12-3 at home, has four players averaging double figures. Bobby Bailey leads the team with an average of 11.9 points per game, while Tirrell Hill averages 11.1 and Antone Gray is adding 11.0. No one player is averaging more than 29 minutes per game and the Anchormen have boasted 10 different starters during the season.
MIT (20-8) and Rhode Island College have played three common opponents this season, with similar results. WPI, which twice defeated MIT during the regular season, topped RIC by eight early in the campaign. RIC defeated Springfield by eight prior to the Holiday break, while the Engineers defeated the Pride three times by an average of 20.3 points per game. The Engineers dropped Little East foe UMass Boston, 87-53, in a non-conference match-up, while RIC swept UMass Boston in two regular-season meetings by an average of 25 points.
The Engineers are 0-2 all-time against Rhode Island College, including an 80-67 loss at home during the 2005-06 season.
In addition to MIT, the NEWMAC enjoyed a second bid to the tournament as WPI was selected to host the first two rounds as an at-large team. Worcester’s edition of the Engineers will face Husson College in the opening round.
Admission will be $6.00 for general admission, and $3.00 for students with ID, children, and seniors. Youth younger than 2 years of age are free. There will be no complimentary admissions except for the credentialed media. Tickets can be purchased at the door, although will call is available for those wishing to purchase tickets in advance using a Visa or Discover credit card. Tickets can be reserved at the will call window by calling (401) 456-8007 between 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
For those unable to attend Friday’s first round game, the contest will be broadcast through the web at http://ricollege.ezstream.com/play/index.cfm?id=121FA01A9A. Live stats will also be available at http://www.goanchormen.com/livestatsbb/XLIVE.HTM.
Click here for a complete bracket: http://www.d3boards.com/playoffs/mbbbracket2009.pdf
For more information, please contact James Kramer ([email protected]; 617-258-5265).