BRIDGEPORT, Connecticut (Ticker) -- Boston College hopes to shake off the disappointment of being snubbed by the NCAA Tournament when it takes on Fairfield in the opening round of the National Invitation Tournament on Tuesday.
The Eagles (18-11) were co-champions of the Big East Conference East Division and finished 10-6 in conference play, but they were not given an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament.
Boston College is led by senior guard Troy Bell, who was named the Big East Player of the Year after averaging 25.4 points per game. Freshman Craig Smith leads the Eagles' frontcourt attack, averaging 19.8 points per contest.
The Eagles are 15-10 all time in the NIT. The Eagles last participated in the NIT in 1993, defeating Niagara and Rice before losing to Providence in the quarterfinals.
Fairfield (19-11) is in the postseason for the first time since the 1997 NCAA tournament, when they lost to top-seeded North Carolina, 82-74, after leading the Tar Heels by seven points at halftime.
The Stags, who went 13-5 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference but lost to Manhattan in the league tournament final, won their most league games since also winning 13 in the 1985-86 season.
The squad is led by Deng Gai, who averages team-highs for both points (12.8 ppg) and rebounds (6.8 rpg). The sophomore also ranks fourth in the nation with 3.8 blocks per contest (92 blocks in 24 games).
Fairfield is 1-4 all time in the NIT.