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CIT 2016: Bracket, schedule and scores

The CIT is a low-major treasure trove of college basketball. Check out the full tournament field here.

The Tournament (CIT) opens on Monday night with a tribute to the nation's Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Grand Canyon and South Carolina State will meet in the Coach John McLendon Classic, a game that honors the trailblazing North Carolina Central head coach more than 70 years after his groundbreaking victory in what's come to be known as "secret game." In a pre-integration NCAA landscape, McLendon's all-black team routed an all-white squad of former college basketball stars in a matchup that helped bring equal rights to the hardwood.

The McClendon Classic will be an annual part of the CIT, an 8-year-old postseason tournament that accommodates the expanding ranks of Division I basketball. This year's bracket is a low-major bonanza of intriguing showdowns. Fifteen different conferences, ranging from the WAC to the Ivy League, are represented. That includes recent NCAA Tournament giant slayers like Mercer and Norfolk State.

The tournament begins Monday and will crown a champion on March 29.

The format

Unlike the NCAA Tournament, the CIT does not use a bracket format. This means that second-round games are only determined once all the first-round games have been played. The CIT selection committee, which includes NFL Pro Bowlers Antonio Gates and Vincent Jackson, does the same thing to determine matchups in the quarterfinals and semifinals. The tournament uses this method to minimize both travel costs and missed class time, according to the CIT's official guide.

The teams

(in no particular order, because the CIT does not announce seeds)

1. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
2. UC Irvine
3. Tennessee-Martin
4. Army
5. New Hampshire
6. Norfolk State
7. Boston University
8. Texas at Arlington
9. Ball State
10. Louisiana-Monroe
11. Mercer
12. South Carolina State
13. Jackson State
14. Sam Houston State
15. Grand Canyon
16. Coastal Carolina
17. Furman
18. Tennessee State
19. Savannah State
20. Fordham
21. Columbia
22. Fairfield
23. NJIT
24. Central Michigan
25. North Dakota
26. Louisiana-Lafayette

Schedule and results (all times Eastern):

First round

March 14

Jackson State Tigers 81, Sam Houston State Bearkats 77 (OT)
Grand Canyon Antelopes 78, South Carolina State Bulldogs 74

March 15

Coastal Carolina Chanticleers 65, Mercer Bears 57
Furman Paladins 58, ULM Warhawks 57
Ball State Cardinals 78, Tennessee State Tigers 73

March 16

UT Arlington Mavericks 75, Savannah State Tigers 59
Boston University Terriers 69, Fordham Rams 66
Columbia Lions 86, Norfolk State Spartans 54
New Hampshire Wildcats 77, Fairfield Stags 62
NJIT Highlanders 79, Army Black Knights 65
UT-Martin Skyhawks 76, Central Michigan Chippewas 73
UC Irvine Anteaters 89, North Dakota 86
UL Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns 96, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders 72

Second round

March 17

Grand Canyon 64, Jackson State 54

March 19

UL Lafayette 80, Furman 72
Coastal Carolina 71, New Hampshire 62

March 20

Ball State 83, UT Martin 80 (OT)

March 21

NJIT 83, Boston 72


March 23

Coastal Carolina 60, Grand Canyon 58
Columbia 69, Ball State 67
UC Irvine 67, UL-Lafayette 66

March 24

NJIT 63, Texas-Arlington 60


March 27

Columbia 80, NJIT 65
UC Irvine 66, Coastal Carolina 47


March 29

Columbia vs. UC Irvine (CBS Sports Network)

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