The Citadel basketball team has played 1,811 games since the date of the first NCAA tournament game and none of those have taken place in the Big Dance. The only appearance the Cadets have made in postseason play came in March 2010 when they faced Old Dominion in the CollegeInsider.com tournament.
A total of eight teams played in that initial tournament in 1939 with Oregon emerging as the first-ever NCAA men’s basketball champion by defeating Ohio State 46-33 at Northwestern’s Patten Gymnasium. In the 75 years that have followed, just about every school that played Division I basketball in 1939 has appeared in the NCAA tournament.
The Citadel is one of those five as the Bulldogs enter the 2013-14 season still seeking its first appearance in the Big Dance. Ironically, the host school for that first tournament in 1939 – Northwestern – is also on the list along with William & Mary, Army and St. Francis (N.Y.).
An interesting footnote to the unlucky five is that Army chose to take its 20-5 record and participate in the 1968 NIT rather than the NCAA tournament.
When The Citadel reaches an NCAA tournament, it will prove to be a small victory for Northwestern graduate and Citadel Media Relations Director Mike Hoffman. Hoffman would have the opportunity to knock this off his “sports bucket list” as neither his alma mater nor his employer has earned a berth in the Big Dance.
The Bulldogs have embraced their quest for the first NCAA tournament bid in program history by focusing on attitude, commitment, integrity and relationship as part of a four-step credo.
One of the ways The Citadel is making a commitment to this journey begins in August when the Bulldogs are set to compete in a five-day trek through Canada. During the visit with our neighbors to the north, The Citadel will twice take on the University of Windsor (Aug. 19-20) among its opposition.
“The trip to Canada this season is just one of the many ways we are trying to get an edge in order to help us reach our goal of getting into the NCAA tournament,” said head coach Chuck Driesell. “This is going to be an exciting and successful trip for our players and program as we make strides towards this goal.”
– Associate Director of Media Relations –