Playoff bound

Published 7:58 pm Monday, March 16, 2009

Troy’s Trojans may not be dancing in the NCAA March Madness, but Troy did get back to the practice floor Monday in preparation for the postseason.

The Trojans (19-12) were selected for the second 16-team College Basketball Invitational (CBI) and will face College of Charleston in the first round of the CBI Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Trojan Arena.

“We are excited to be in this tournament and the goal of all Division I players is to be able to play after your regular season is done,” Troy head coach Don Maestri said. “So postseason is a very meaningful thing and our guys have been fortunate enough this year to be invited to one.”

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The Trojans lost 78-75 to Sun Belt tourney runner-up South Alabama March 8 and Maestri said that loss was heartbreaking. The Trojans will try and put that loss behind them Wednesday.

Maestri said the Charleston Cougars (26-8) would come ready to play.

“People don’t realize, but Charleston is a basketball school,” Maestri said. “They are a school with a traditionally rich basketball program. They don’t have football, so they are all about basketball.”

Charleston owns a 92-42 win over the Trojans in the two schools only meeting. The loss for Troy came in its first year as a member of the Atlantic Sun Conference.

“I think this will be a special night of basketball and I just hope our fans come out to watch us in the postseason,” Maestri said. “This should be as entertaining a game as our fans have seen all year because Charleston has outstanding shooters and they like to play up-tempo like us.”

All tickets for the game will be general admission and will be on a first-come, first-serve basis. Tickets are $8 and all Troy University students and children 12 years old and younger get in free.

Troy Athletic Director Steve Dennis said he is happy for the men’s squad.

“We are excited about getting selected for this tournament,” Dennis said. “It is a tribute to our players and the coaching staff. It gives them an opportunity to keep playing and get our program out there some more.”

Dennis said the national exposure for Troy is always great.

“We have a lot of ambition here for our entire athletic program, so this means a lot,” he said.

Tip off is scheduled for 7 p.m. from Trojan Arena Wednesday.