Dukes Accept NIT Bid

PITTSBURGH - Duquesne University, coming off its first Atlantic 10 Men's Basketball Championship final appearance in 28 years, has accepted a bid to play in the 2009 National Invitation Tournament. The Dukes, who will be making their first post-season appearance since 1994, will take on Virginia Tech of the Atlantic Coast Conference on Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m. in Blacksburg, Va.

The game, which will be televised nationally by ESPNU, will tip at 7:00 p.m. This will be the 17th NIT for Duquesne, whose last post-season appearance came in 1994 when the Dukes defeated Charlotte and lost to Villanova in the NIT.

"I'm very proud of our young basketball team and especially proud of Aaron Jackson's senior leadership," said Duquesne head coach Ron Everhart. "Our kids have done everything we've asked them to do. They've given us energy, enthusiasm and effort and they really deserve to play in the post season."

Everhart was a four-year letterman at Virginia Tech and served as captain of the Hokies 1984-85 NCAA Tournament team. Duquesne assistant coach Steve Hall also played for the Hokies. He was Tech's captain in 1993.

"Having an opportunity to play in the post-season is great," said Everhart. "I'm honored to have the chance to play at my alma mater. Its about as good as it gets."

Duquesne (21-12), which dropped a 69-64 decision to Temple in Saturday's A-10 Championship title game, owns wins over NCAA Tournament participants Xavier, Dayton, Radford and Robert Morris. The Dukes, whose 21 wins are the school's most since 1971, have also defeated Bowling Green and Rhode Island who are both part of the NIT field.

Virginia Tech (18-14, 7-9), which finished in a tie for seventh in the ACC, is coming off a 79-76 loss to No. 1 (AP) North Carolina in the second round of the ACC tournament.

Tickets for Duquesne's NIT match-up at Virginia Tech are available by visiting www.hokietickets.com. Tickets are $15 for the public and $5 for students and children under 18. All seats are general admission. With a 9,800 seat capacity at Cassell Coliseum, tickets are expected to sell out quickly.

Posted on DuquesneSports.net, 4/2/09