LOGAN — Utah State won't be appearing in your NCAA bracket for the first time since 2008, but the Aggie's season is not over quite yet. Stew Morrill's club will be playing in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament (CIT).
The Aggies (17-15, 8-6) host Cal-State Bakersfield Wednesday night in the first round of the tournament. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. MT.
Cal-State Bakersfield finished the season 16-14 in just their fourth season in Division I, and has competed all four seasons as an independent team with no conference affiliation. The Roadrunners faced several WAC opponents during the season, but came away empty handed losing at Idaho (72-44), at home against New Mexico State (73-72), at San Jose State (78-70) and at Nevada (61-47). Bakersfield finished with an RPI of 217.
Despite being relatively new to Division I the Roadrunners and Aggies have become very familiar with each other. The two teams have met four times since 2007 with Utah State winning handily each time. The closest game was a 17-point USU victory in Bakersfield in 2009. More familiarity comes in the form of former Aggie
Tyrone White, who transferred to Bakersfield following the 2010 season. White scored just 11 total points in an Aggie uniform, but has seen consistent court time with the Roadrunners averaging 25 minutes a game 7.5 points a contest.
The Aggies fell in the first round of the Western Athletic Conference tournament for the first time in their seven year history in the conference on Thursday night. The loss knocked the Aggies out of contention for their fourth-straight NCAA tournament bid. This will be Utah State's first trip to the CIT, but the Aggies have played in a postseason tournament every season since Morrill's first year in Logan in 1998-1999, a streak of 13 consecutive seasons.
The CollegeInsider.com Tournament was started in 2009 as an option for teams not selected to the NCAA or NIT tournaments to continue their seasons. Previous champions of the tournament are Old Dominion (2009), Missouri State (2010) and Santa Clara (2011). Other teams in this year's CIT field are fellow Utah schools Weber State and Utah Valley who will face each other in the first round, as well as UC-Santa Barbara, Idaho, Kent State, Loyola Marymount and Old Dominion.