After earning an invitation to participate in the 16-team Collegiate Basketball Invitational presented by Buick, the George Mason men’s basketball team will travel to College of Charleston where the Patriots and Cougars will clash Tuesday night in the opening round. Tip time from TD Arena is set for 7 p.m.
The game will be televised live nationally on AXS.TV (formerly HDNet).
“We are grateful to have the opportunity to continue our season,” said head coach Paul Hewitt. “Having a young team, the opportunity to play in a postseason tournament will serve us well moving forward.”
Mason (18-14) will square off against the Cougars (24-10), who are wrapping up their final season in the Southern Conference before joining the CAA in July. In their most recent game, the Cougars fell just short of an NCAA Tournament bid after Davidson defeated them, 74-55, in the SoCon Championship game. That loss snapped a four-game win streak, and overall, the Cougars have won 12 of their last 15 contests.
Leading the Charleston offense are guards Andrew Lawrence and Anthony Stitt. Lawrence, an All-Conference player in both the head coaches and media polls, averages a team-high 13.5 points per game while Stitt contributes 10.7 points per game.
Mason, who will graduate just one senior this year in walk-on guard Bryce Lewis, will be making its 12th postseason appearance and the fifth in the last six seasons. Last Sunday, the Patriots were eliminated from the CAA Championship by the top-seeded Northeastern Huskies in the semifinal round.
This will be the fifth all-time meeting between the two schools. Mason won the most recent game, an 84-76 decision on December 30 last season at TD Arena. Against members of the SoCon, the Patriots have amassed a 4-6 record.
“We are familiar with Charleston after playing them last year,” Hewitt added. “[Head coach] Doug Wojcik has taken over and done a great job with the team this year. We look forward to the game.”
The CBI presented by Buick is a single-elimination tournament up until the "best-of-three" Championship Series, with all games played at campus sites. After the Opening Round games, the Quarterfinal Round will take place on Monday, March 25, followed by the Semifinal Round on Wednesday, March 27. Prior to the semifinals, the remaining teams will be re-bracketed. The Championship Series is a best-of-three in which one team will host two of the three games. Those games will be played on April 1, April 3, and April 5.