March 10, 2011
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara University men's basketball team will participate in the post-season for the first time in 15 years after accepting a spot in the 2011 CollegeInsider.com Tournament (CIT). Santa Clara is 19-14 this season and was the No. 4 seed in the West Coast Conference after finishing 8-6 in league play. Santa Clara advanced to the WCC semi-finals before bowing out 73-64 to WCC co-champion Saint Mary's.
The Broncos will host a home game Tues., March 15 in the Leavey Center against an opponent that is to be determined Sun., March 13 when the CIT bracket is announced. Tickets are available for the March 15 game by calling 408-554-4660 or by visiting www.SantaClaraBroncos.com. Current Santa Clara season-ticket holders should call (408-554-4660) or come into the ticket office to purchase their CIT tickets.
"This is a great opportunity and a step for our program to take. To play in March is a privilege and is a hard-earned honor for a season's worth of work. To be able to play in Leavey again is special for our fans and alumni who have had such a big part of our success this year. We are looking forward to sharing in this with everyone next Tuesday," Bronco head coach Kerry Keating said.
"We are thrilled to be participating in the post-season for the first time in 15 years as our goal is to make post-season play an annual occurrence. This was a very exciting season, and a significant step in our efforts to re-emerge as a basketball power on the West Coast," said Santa Clara Athletic Director Dan Coonan.
The Broncos had four players in double figures in WCC play and are led by the nation's No. 1 three-point shooter in Kevin Foster (3.5 threes per game). Marc Trasolini, the WCC Player of the Week Feb. 28, scored 22 points in two straight WCC Tournament games this past weekend. Troy Payne was named the WCC Defender of the Year and Evan Roquemore, who has already broken the Bronco freshman records in assists, free throws made and free throws attempted, was named to the WCC All-Freshman team after averaging a league-leading 11.8 ppg for newcomers.
The CIT is a 24-team tournament that will feature 12 first-round games. Four of the teams that win first-round games will advance to the quarterfinals, while the other eight teams will play for the right to advance to the quarterfinals.
Missouri State won last year's CIT event with a 78-65 triumph over Pacific in the title game. In 2009, Old Dominion captured the CIT crown with a 66-62 victory at Bradley. Missouri State came back to win the regular season MVC title this year and Old Dominion has already advanced to the NCAA Tournament again this season after winning its conference title for the second straight year. ODU defeated Notre Dame in the first round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament.
Santa Clara would be the third West Coast Conference team to take part in the three-year old tournament. Portland participated in 2009 and 2010 and LMU played in it in 2010.
Season ticket holders with reserve chair back seating can purchase their seats for $20 per pair (2 for $20) as a thank you for the support this season. The general public can purchase reserved chair back tickets for $20 each. General admission tickets for the CIT game will be $5. Ruff Riders (Bronco student group) with valid Santa Clara I.D.'s will be admitted into the game free of charge and will be entered into a raffle for one of two $500 cash prizes, as a result of Coach Keating's generosity.
"It's a way of saying 'thanks' to the student body and Ruff Riders for stepping up big and supporting the basketball team to help us get to this point. We won more games in Leavey this year than in the last 23 years, and they were a vital part of that. As a result, we will play in Leavey again this season; on top of it all, this will be an ultimate study break during exams for 2 hours, and the two $500 prizes will certainly make spring break a little more manageable!" Keating said.