Coming off a great effort in a loss in the Southern Conference Championship, the Bucs were left out of the NCAA and NIT tournaments after going 23-11 on the season.
However, the Bucs did get invited to the Vegas 16 Tournament that will be held March 28-30.
Other teams that were also invited were Tennessee Tech, Old Dominion, UC Santa Barbara, Northern Illinois, Oakland, Louisiana Tech and Towson. In the opening round, the Bucs will face the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs, who finished their season 23-9 after losing in the first round of C-USA Tournament.
It’s a tough tournament field. There are not any easy wins, so the Bucs will be challenged in each game as they advance.
“It’s an honor and a privilege to be invited to the inaugural Las Vegas 16 tournament,” said ETSU coach Steve Forbes. “What a tremendous reward for an outstanding season. Our team is thankful for the opportunity, and we look forward to the challenge. We are excited to play more meaningful games in March.”
For the Bucs, it also gives the seniors more playing opportunities as they hope to win the whole tournament. A tournament like this is just what the Bucs need to see what they need to improve on going into next season.
A team like Oakland would be a nice matchup for the Bucs. If both teams advance to the next round, the Bucs would face the nation’s third leading scorer, Kay Felder.
The Bucs have yet to stop preparing for games even after the SoCon Tournament. Forbes has made sure to keep the team ready going into this tournament.
“We settled on eight teams, many of which were considered for an NIT berth, and all of which have had outstanding seasons they want to celebrate in our event,” said Brooks Downing, president of BD Global, the tournament organizer.
The Bucs should be confident in their ability to win this tournament; they have been battle-tested all season. They will play March 28 at Mandalay Bay Events Center.