It's not the NCAA big dance tournament. It's not the next rung of mens college basketball post season tournaments, the NIT. But the Bradley Braves will end a three-year post season tournament drought next week when they host a yet-to-be-determined opponent on campus, Wednesday, March 20.
Bradley (16-16) has accepted an invitiation to play in the CollegeInsider.com tournament, which invites only mid-major teams. It will give local fans one more chance to watch the defensive prowess of Peoria native, Washington High grad and conference defensive MVP, Dyricus Simms-Edwards (pictured above,left), at least, when they play at Renaissance Coliseum that night, the first on-campus post season game since an NIT game in 1982 at Robertson Fieldhouse.
Another positive, of course, for coach Geno Ford's team is additional practice time for next year's returning players. This will mark the 35th time that Bradley's played in a post season basketball tournament, tops in the Missouri Valley Conference. Bradley played in the inaugural CIT in 2009 and fell to Old Dominion in the finals at Carver Arena. I was in attendance that night, and it was a pretty entertaining game. The CIT competes with the CBI (College Basketball Invitiational) for mid majors teams that failed to get invites to either the NCAA or NIT tourneys.