LAFAYETTE — The Louisiana-Lafayette men’s basketball team’s season is not finished yet.
The Ragin’ Cajuns on Sunday accepted an invitation to play in the CollegeInsider.com tournament for the second straight season and the third time under coach Bob Marlin. According to a schedule released by the tournament late Sunday night, the Cajuns will host Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Cajundome.
That news was released shortly before midnight and was somewhat unexpected. The Cajuns announced in a tweet late Sunday night that they would be making an announcement regarding the postseason Monday morning, but the tournament released the schedule shortly thereafter. Both A&M-Corpus Christi and the Cajuns wanted to host a first-round game, causing a delay in the announcement while they figured out who would travel.
The Islanders went 25-7 this season but lost to Stephen F. Austin in the Southland Conference tournament championship game. They beat Texas State — their one common opponent with the Cajuns — 47-39.
They were led in scoring by 6-foot-8 junior forward Rashawn Thomas, who averaged 16.6 points. He had five games when he scored 30 or more.
The CIT has a 32-team field filled entirely with teams from non-power conferences. Each game is played at an on-campus site and there is no bracket, meaning matchups are not predetermined by seeds but are decided after each round.
The first round will run Monday through Wednesday, and the tournament will wrap up with a championship game March 29.
Last season, the Ragin’ Cajuns traveled for the first two rounds of the tournament to face Incarnate Word and Sam Houston State before hosting Evansville for the quarterfinals at Blackham Coliseum. Evansville went on to win the tournament. The Cajuns are 2-2 all-time in the CIT, including an opening-round loss to Rice in 2012.
The Cajuns entered the season with high hopes and were a near-unanimous preseason selection to win the Sun Belt Conference. But their NCAA tournament hopes went up in smoke when they were eliminated from the SBC tournament by eventual champion Little Rock in the semifinals Saturday. Little Rock earned a No. 12 seed in the NCAA tournament Sunday.
It’s possible the Cajuns could see some familiar foes in the tournament. Louisiana-Monroe, which lost to Little Rock in the SBC tournament title game, accepted an invitation to play in the CIT. The Warhawks had a 10-game winning streak snapped in the tournament title game and also played in the finals of the College Basketball Insider tournament last season. The Warhawks will play a first-round game at Fordham at 6 p.m. Tuesday.
Texas-Arlington, which lost in the SBC tournament semifinals to ULM, is traveling to Savannah State in the first round Wednesday at 6 p.m.