By Ron Wynn
The Tennessee State Tigers will be part of March Madness after all. They will participate in the Tournament, and there’s a historic aspect to their inclusion. For the first time since they joined Division 1, the John McClendon Classic will serve as a site for one of the opening rounds beginning Tuesday.
The Tigers finished 18-15 this season, and reached the quarterfinals of the OVC Tournament. It’s the sixth time they’ve won at least 18 games,m and they also tied the school record this season for most home wins with an 11-3 mark. In addition, this will be their fourth CIT appearance, though they’ve yet to win a game. They’ve previously lost to Mercer (2012), Evansville (2013) and Ball State (2016).
The CIT includes 26 teams, with all games played at various campus locations. It’s a five-round, single elimination style event. First round games begin March 16 and continue through March 21.
Round one plays hosts to “The Classics” – five games paying tribute to basketball greats which end with the winning team obtaining a classic trophy and a place in the second round of the CIT. The Tigers’ opponent for the Tuesday night game has yet to be determined. It will begin at 7 p.m. and be shown on either ESPN 3 or ESPN +.
Tickets for the event will be set at $25 for limited premium courtside seating, $10 general admission and $5 student pricing. For tickets, please visit the TSU Ticket Office located on the first floor of the Gentry Center or call (615) 963-5841.