Hilltoppers to Host Boston College on Tuesday in NIT Opener - LEX18.com | Continuous News and StormTracker Weather

Hilltoppers to Host Boston College on Tuesday in NIT Opener

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WKU Hilltopper Basketball’s season will continue ­in E.A. Diddle Arena, with a home game against Boston College in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament at 7 p.m. CT Tuesday.

The fourth-seeded Hilltoppers will welcome fifth-seeded Boston College for WKU’s first home postseason game since an 88-80 overtime win over Kent State in the 2005 NIT, which was also their last victory in the event.

Single-game tickets for Tuesday’s matchup will be available at 9:30 p.m. CT tonight online at WKUTickets.com. Chairback seats will be $25, while bleacher seating will be $15. Student tickets are free courtesy of WKU Athletics.

Season ticket holders can buy their season tickets and parking locations starting at 8:30 a.m. Monday. Season ticket holders are encouraged to purchase their seats online through their account manager to avoid lines and wait time through the WKU Ticket Office. The ticket office will have extended phone hours until 6 p.m. Monday.

Season ticket holders will have first priority to their seats through 8 a.m. Tuesday.

This is the first postseason tournament berth since 2013 for the Hilltoppers (24-10), who fell to Marshall 67-66 in Saturday’s Conference USA Championship final.

WKU has made 13 previous appearances in the NIT, most recently in 2006. The Hilltoppers have a 9-14 overall record in the event, including three top-four finishes between 1942-54.

This will be the sixth NIT appearance in head coach Rick Stansbury’s career. Stansbury’s teams at Mississippi State competed in the NIT five times, including a semifinal trip to New York in 2007. Stansbury has a 6-5 overall record in the NIT, including a 3-2 mark in the first round.

Stansbury’s teams have competed in either the NCAA Tournament or the NIT in 12 of his 16 seasons as a head coach.

Boston College (19-15) fell 90-82 to Clemson in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament last week.

WKU has faced the Eagles just once before, a 74-68 win in the Cotton States Classic on Dec. 29, 1982 in Atlanta, Ga. The Hilltoppers are 57-61 all-time against the current membership of the ACC.

The second round of the NIT is slated for March 16-19, with the quarterfinals on March 20-21. The semifinals (March 27) and championship game (March 29) are played at Madison Square Garden in New York.

WKU’s 24 wins are its most since the 2008-09 season. The Hilltoppers have 10 wins over programs with at least 20 victories.

WKU’s average attendance in Diddle Arena this season of 5,444 is the program’s highest since the 2007-08 Sweet 16 campaign. The over-capacity attendance of 7,759 against Middle Tennessee on Jan. 20 was the largest for a regular-season game in Diddle Arena since the venue’s renovation and capacity decrease to 7,326 in 2002. Over the last seven games, WKU averaged 6,547 fans per contest, filling the building to 89.4 percent capacity and selling out its final four Saturday contests, including three over-capacity crowds.

How to follow the Hilltoppers: For complete information on WKU Hilltopper Basketball, follow the team's social media channels, @WKUBasketball on Twitter, @WKUBasketball on Instagram, and WKU Basketball on Facebook.

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