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Men’s basketball at Arkansas State will compete in the CBI for the first time in 25 years



Jonesboro, Arkansas – Arkansas State men’s basketball will play in a postseason basketball tournament for the first time since 1999. The #4 seeded Red Wolves received an invitation to the College Basketball Invitational (CBI) and will take against Bethune-Cookman. Saturday, March 23 at 12:00 PM CDT in Daytona Beach, Florida’s Ocean Center. On Monday, March 25, the victor of that matchup advances to the quarterfinals. ESPN2 will televise the Semifinals and Championship on March 26 and 27.

The Red Wolves will be making their sixth postseason appearance since joining NCAA Division I, and their third postseason event since 1990. The Red Wolves participated in the 1999 NCAA Tournament as well as the 1987, 1988, 1989, and 1991 National Invitational Tournaments (NIT). A-State’s victory over Memphis in the NIT Second Round in 1991 would be the first playoff victory in any competition if the team prevailed in the CBI.

Finished fourth in the Sun Belt Conference (2014), the Red Wolves (18-16), who were ranked 148th in the NCAA NET Rankings and 131st in Ken Pomeroy’s rankings, achieved their first top-4 regular-season performance in ten years and qualified for the SBC Championship game for the first time in seventeen years (2007). This season, Bryan Hodgson was one of five first-year Division I head coaches to guide a team to the conference final.

Throughout the season, Hodgson’s team shattered several program records: points (2,677, 78.7 points per game); three-pointers attempted and made (321-921, 34.9 percent); number of games with at least 10 three-pointers (16); and KenPom’s offensive efficiency measure (113.6, 60th best in the nation).

When the Red Wolves play again, they’ll probably break yet another A-State record. With 149 career games played, Caleb Fields and Marquis Eaton are presently tied.

The Red Wolves want to become the fourth Sun Belt team to get to the final game in this, the 15th edition of the CBI event. ULM (2015) and Coastal Carolina (2021, 2017) were the runners-up in the CBI.

For the first time ever, the Red Wolves and Wildcats (17–16) will play each other. The Southwestern Athletic Conference includes Bethune-Cookman, and A-State has a record of 37-8 versus the conference.

The eventual tournament winner, Grambling State, defeated the Wildcats in the semifinals after they tied for fifth place in the conference. In his third season as head coach, two-time NBA All-Star Reggie Theus is leading them.

Bethune-Cookman will have some home-court advantage despite being ranked 308 in both the NET and KenPom rankings. The Ocean Center, the location of the CBI, is two miles away from the Wildcats’ home gym.


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