Men’s basketball starts NIT round two

Rachel Jones

The No. 7 Kent State men’s basketball team will face No. 6 Fairfield on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. in the second round of the NIT.

Kent State coach Geno Ford said the Stags have a playing style similar to the Flashes’.

“They’re a lot like us,” Ford explained. “They have a lot of athleticism. They’re kind of good defensively.”

They also both won close games in the first round.

Fairfield defeated Colorado State 62-60 on Tuesday while the Flashes beat St. Mary’s 71-70.

With 25 wins this season, Fairfield does bring a lot to the table. But Ford said he’s still excited for the chance to play on ESPNU.

“It’s our ninth chance to get on an ESPN network, and that’s great for the program and the university,” Ford said. “We want to make a good showing of ourselves in front of a national TV audience.”

Whether the game comes down to a last-minute basket – like it did against St. Mary’s on Tuesday – or not, Ford said he’d like to see the team move on to the next round.

“Getting a chance to play in the final 16 in the NIT is a great thing, but we’d like to extend that,” Ford said. “We have the opportunity to do so.”

Contact sports reporter Rachel Jones at [email protected]