Dwight Coleby and Hilltoppersaccept bid to play in the NIT


Western Kentucky forward Dwight Coleby (22) looks to shoot while guarded by Marshall forwards Jannson Williams (3) and Ajdin Penava (11) during an NCAA college basketball game for the Conference USA men’s tournament title on Saturday in Frisco, Texas. (AP)


Tribune Sports Reporter


IT may not be on the main stage in the NCAA Tournament but several Bahamian NCAA Division I basketball players will still have postseason opportunities.

Dwight Coleby, Travis Munnings and Calvin Anderson will be featured in tournaments as their programmes formally accepted invites following Selection Sunday.

Coleby and the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers accepted a bid to play in the National Invitational Tournament, March 12-30, played at various regional venues.

The Hilltoppers (24-10) are a No.4 seed in the the tournament and will host No. 5 seed Boston College Eagles (19-15), 10pm March 14 in the EA Diddle Arena in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

The winner will advance to play either Southern California or North Carolina Asheville in round two.

This is the 14th NIT appearance for the Hilltoppers in school history after they finished in third-place in the Conference – USA regular season standings.

WKU just missed an NCAA tournament berth with a narrow 67-66 loss to the Marshall Thundering Herd in the C-USA title game on Saturday night.

A trip to the 2013 NCAA Tournament was the last postseason season appearance for the programme prior to this NIT bid.

“You look at where we were two years ago and the issues we were facing then and you look at where we are now, literally one basket away from the NCAA Tournament,” WKU athletic director Todd Stewart said to ABC 13-WBKO in Bowling Green.

“Now three days later to have a home game against an ACC team is another great opportunity.

“This is a team that won 24 games and the opportunity to still be playing is one I know everyone certainly appreciates.”

The NIT is known as the second tier postseason tournament behind the main event, “March Madness.”

The tournament was founded in 1938 and the final rounds are played at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

This year’s field is highlighted by several teams considered “on the bubble” for the NCAA Tournament, including Baylor, Notre Dame, St Mary’s and USC. The field also includes several teams who were regular season conference winners.

Munnings, Anderson and the ULM Warhawks accepted a bid to participate in the 10th CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament. They will face Austin Peay, Thursday March 15 in Clarksville, Tennessee at 7pm.

The 2018 CIT began last night with four games on CBS Sports Network. The Hugh Durham Classic, Lou Henson Classic, Jim Phelan Classic and Riley Wallace Classic will be the first games of the postseason.

At the conclusion of each game a trophy will be presented to the winning team, which will then advance to the second round of the tournament.

The Coach John McLendon Classic will be played on Wednesday, March 14.

The CIT uses the old NIT model in which there is no set bracket. Future round opponents are determined by the results of the previous round. All games are at on-campus sites.

Georgia Southern eliminated the Warhawks in the quarter-finals of the SunBelt Conference tournament and they finished the regular season with a 16-15 record. Munnings was named a Second Team All Sunbelt selection and leads ULM in scoring (16.2 points per game), rebounding (7.2 per game) and minutes played (34.3 per game).