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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Norfolk State gets bye in postseason tournament

NORFOLK, Va. – The Norfolk State men’s basketball team’s season is not over. Better yet, the Spartans will return to Joseph G. Echols Hall this week.

Norfolk State has earned a bid to the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT), marking NSU’s third postseason appearance of the past four years. As the tournament’s No. 1 overall seed, the Spartans will host a semifinal game on Saturday, Mar. 23 at 4 p.m.

The Spartans received an opening round bye as the top seed and will face the winner of Wednesday’s matchup between Austin Peay and Alabama A&M on Saturday.

“We are excited to be able to continue this season,” Norfolk State head coach Robert Jones said. “Although the ending wasn’t what we prepared or planned for, this has been a historic season for NSU and we are happy to be able to continue it on a national stage.”

Norfolk State’s showdown will take place as the John McLendon Classic, honoring the legendary late head coach. The first African American coach to win an integrated national championship, McLendon won three consecutive NAIA titles from 1957-59.

Norfolk State
Norfolk State wing Kaluel Mading dunks the ball against North Carolina Central. (21924)

Established in 2009, the 2024 CIT will end the tournament’s four-year hiatus. Marshall defeated Green Bay 90-70 on Apr. 4, 2019 in the last CIT championship game.

Tickets can be purchased on nsuspartanstickets.universitytickets.com.

Norfolk State is no stranger to the CIT. The Spartans competed in the tournament in four consecutive seasons from 2014-17, the first four years of Jones’ tenure.

NSU carries a 22-11 overall record into the tournament, winning the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Outright Regular Season Championship with an 11-3 record in conference play.

Jamarii Thomas was named MEAC Player of the Year and Newcomer of the Year for his performance this season, while head coach Robert Jones earned MEAC Coach of the Year Honors.

Allen Betrand received the inaugural MEAC Sixth Player of the Year award, also landing on the All-MEAC Third Team. Jamarii Thomas was named to the All-MEAC First Team and All-Defensive Team, while Chris Fields Jr. made the All-Rookie Team.

Norfolk State gets bye in postseason tournament

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