UTEP Accepts Bid to The Basketball Classic, Tip-off Set for Tuesday
Hold the phone. UTEP's season is not done yet.
Following internal deliberation, the UTEP men's basketball team has accepted a bid to join The Basketball Classic postseason tournament, and the Miners will lace up their sneakers this Tuesday for a 5 p.m. tip against an opponent to be determined.
After UTEP bowed out in the quarterfinals of the C-USA Tournament against Middle Tennesse (66-59, OT), Golding had alluded to the fact that the program could end up focusing on recruiting instead of playing in a postseason tournament.
However, the possibility of garnering extra revenue through concessions was intriguing to UTEP, per sources. The program could capitalize on recent fan excitement and draw an admirable crowd at the Haskins Center for this tournament. There is a desire within the program to play in a non-conference invitational during the 2022-23 season and picking up some extra revenue at The Basketball Classic can help ease those costs to possibly join the showcase.
After the MTSU loss, Golding said on the broadcast that his coaching staff would be in Kansas starting Monday for the National Junior College championships to recruit. It’s possible that an assistant like Butch Pierre could still go while the team competes in the College Basketball Classic.
"We are thrilled to continue our season and experience postseason play," said head coach Joe Golding in a release. "Our guys have earned the opportunity to play more games in front of the best fans in the country. We've seen our crowds grow over the course of the season and we hope Miner nation will turn out again as we look to write another chapter in our proud basketball history."
The Basketball Classic is a 32-team tournament that will debut this March, replacing the former CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament, which was discontinued after its scheduled 2020 and 2021 tournaments were canceled because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Marshall beat Green Bay in 2019 to win the CIT Championship.
The tournament consists of three rounds, single elimination, and games are held on campuses of participating universities. Ticket sales will be collected by The Basketball Classic. Yet, there is not an entry fee for the MIners to join this tournament.
The tournament will hold the semifinals on Tuesday, March 29 and the championship game is slated for Thursday, March 31.
ESPN+ is set to broadcast all the games of The Basketball Classic.
Fans can go to UTEPMiners.com/Tickets to get $10 general admission tickets or $25 courtside seats.
UTEP finished its season with a 19-13 record and it has an opportunity to reach the 20-win threshold for the first time since Tim Floyd's 2014-15 squad went 22-11 and went to the NIT. This is the first time the program has reached postseason play since the 2014-15 season.
UTEP postseason record:
- National Championships: 1 (1966)
- Final Four Appearances: 1 (1966)
- Sweet Sixteen Appearances: 4 (1964, 1966, 1967, 1992)
- NCAA Tournament Appearances: 17 (1963, 1964, 1966, 1967, 1970, 1975, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1992, 2004, 2005, 2010)
- NIT Appearances: 10 (1965, 1972, 1980, 1981, 1993, 1995, 2001, 2006, 2011, 2015)
- NIT Overall Record: 6-10
- CBI Appearances: 3 (2008, 2009, 2014)
- CBI Overall Record: 4-4