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Central Michigan accepts 2019 College Basketball Invitational bid

CMU is set to go dancing for the fourth time in five years, this time in the CBI.

NCAA Basketball: Central Michigan at Michigan Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Central Michigan had quite the season in the 2018-2019 campaign, as they surpassed all preseason expectations and nearly came away with what would have been a bracket-shattering upset of top-seeded Buffalo in the semifinals of the MAC Tournament, and they’ll get at least one more shot to end their season on a positive note.

The Chippewas (23-11, 10-8) were picked to finish last in the MAC West division in the preseason media polls and 11th overall in the 12-team league, but found themselves competing for the division crown and a high tournament seed in the last week of the season before untimely injuries to Rob Montgomery and Shawn Roundtree Jr. ultimately deterred them.

They’ll now take their talents to the 2019 College Basketball Invitational, drawing Big East foe DePaul University (15-15, 7-11) in the first round. They are the MAC’s lone representative in the CBI.

“We are excited to be able to continue our season,” CMU head coach Keno Davis said via press release. “It is a great opportunity for our seniors to be rewarded as well as a chance for our returning players to gain more experience as they look ahead towards next year.”

This will be the Chippewas’ fourth postseason tournament in the last five years, and they’ve expereinced a lot of success in both regular season and postseason tournament play recently, with wins in the 2017 Great Alaskan Shootout and the 2018 Junkanoo Jam in the last two regular seasons.

Last season, CMU advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2018 Tournament, with victories on the road against Fort Wayne and Wofford before falling to Liberty. It was CMU’s farthest advancement in a postseason tournament since making it to the third-place regional game in the 1975 NCAA Tournament.

DePaul was the last-place team by regular season standings in a stout Big East, but racked up a series of impressive wins over Penn State, a win over Big East tournament finalist Seton Hall and a season sweep over NCAA Tourney at-large and formerly-ranked St. John’s.

This will be DePaul’s first postseason appearance since 2007, when it advanced to the quarterfinals of the NIT.

The game will be set to play on March 20 at 8 p.m. EST and will be played at McGrath-Phillips Arena in Chicago, Illinois. Technically a neutral court game (Wintrust Arena is the home for men’s team, while McGrath-Phillips is a part-time home for the women’s team,) DePaul is 12-6 when defending home turf, while CMU is 7-5 on the road.

The winner of the game will face the winner of the game between Longwood/Southern Miss. After the quarterfinal round, the brackets will be re-seeded, with the teams making it to the finals playing a best-of-three series.

TV/streaming details are unknown as of publication.