NSU to Continue Season Monday at Liberty in CIT 1st Round

The Norfolk State men’s basketball team will compete in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament (CIT) for the fourth year in a row when the Spartans travel to Liberty for a Monday night contest. The game will serve as the second annual John McLendon Classic.

The contest will tip off from the Vines Center at Liberty at 7 p.m. and be broadcast on Facebook Live.

It will mark the sixth straight season NSU will compete in a postseason tournament, the only school in the MEAC and the only Division I HBCU to do so. The Spartans competed in the NCAA Tournament in 2012, the NIT in 2013 and the CIT each of the last four years.

Norfolk State fell in the MEAC Championship game on Saturday to North Carolina Central, NSU’s third-ever title game appearance. The Spartans carry a 17-16 overall record into Monday’s game having already secured their sixth straight non-losing season.

Liberty owns a 19-13 overall record and went 14-4 in the Big South this season before bowing out in the conference tournament to lower-seeded Radford on March 2.

The John McLendon Classic honors Coach McLendon and the legacy of some of the icons in the game that include Clarence “Big House” Gaines and Ben Jobe. At least one historical black college or university participates in the Classic every year.

The winner of Monday’s matchup between NSU and Liberty will be crowned the McLendon Classic champion and will move on to the second round of the CIT, to be played later in the week.

A 10-member selection committee, consisting of current Division I athletic directors, will select the 32-team field for the ninth annual CIT. The field will be officially announced on Sunday with the first round beginning on Monday with the NSU-Liberty matchup and the rest of the first round beginning on Tuesday and Wednesday.

For more information on the CIT, visit the tournament page at CollegeInsider.com.

The CIT semifinals and championship will be broadcast on CBS Sports for the fifth consecutive year.