Tonight is the Night.  The McNeese Men's Basketball team is hosting a 1st round game against Boston College in the Burton Coliseum.

McNeese State will tackle Boston College in the first ever match up between a Cowboy team and an Atlantic Coast Conference school in Burton Coliseum in the first round of the NIT tournament on Tonight.

Tipoff is set for 8:05 p.m. and the game will be televised live over ESPNU and on Cajun Radio 1470 & 1290 AM's. Tickets are on sale and are $15 for reserved seats, $10 for general admission and $5 for students.

The Cowboys, the Southland Conference regular season champions, return to the NIT for the first time since the 2001 season. That year a Ron Everhart coached team bowed to UTEP 84-74 in first round action.

In 1986 the Cowboy team coached by Glenn Duhon posted a first round 86-75 victory over Dayton but then bowed to Louisiana Tech 77-61.

Tuesday's game will be the second NIT contest hosted by McNeese and the first for Burton Coliseum. The first McNeese appearance in the NIT had the Cowboys beating Dayton in the Lake Charles Civic Center.

McNeese goes into the game with a 21-11 overall record and the SLC's regular season title. The Cowboys bowed to UT San Antonio in the championship game of the conference tournament last Saturday by a 75-72 score despite a last minute rally.

The Cowboys have dropped only one game at home this year, that an 81-74 setback at the hands of Southeastern Louisiana. They have won 15 contests.

McNeese head coach Dave Simmons makes his first appearance in post season play as a head coach but he's had past experience and success as a member of the coaching staff at other schools.

He was an assistant at Northwestern State when the Demons won a first round NCAA tournament game in 2006 and he was an assistant at McNeese when the Cowboys played in the 1989 NCAA, falling to Illinois 77-71 in first round action.

Also, he was an assistant coach at Louisiana Tech when the Bulldogs advanced all the way to the NIT's Final Four in 1986 and to the second round of the NCAA playoffs in both 1984 and 1985.

"It's still a one game season for us," Simmons said. "Win and you play on. It's unbelievable that we have a home game and it's something that I hope we can take advantage of."

The Cowboys have a balanced scoring attack with four players averaging points in double figures. Junior Patrick Richard leads the way with a 15.9 average followed by Diego Kapelan at 15.0, Stephan Martin 10.4 and P. J. Alawoya 10.3.

Alawoya was the only player in the conference to average a double double this season and he is also tops in rebounds with a 10.3 mark.

C. J. Collins and Preston David are the other two Cowboy starters as Martin will go in off the bench.

Boston College enters the game with a 20-12 record and a fourth place showing in the ACC standings.

Reggie Jackson is the team's leading scorer with an 18.4 mark while Joe Trapani is at 14.8, Corey Raji is hitting 12.1 and Biko Paris 10.2.

This season the teams have played one common opponent - Texas A&M. Boston College beat the Aggies 67-65 on the road and the Cowboys dropped a 66-57 decision, also on the road.

McNeese played one ACC school during the regular season, bowing to Miami 79-59 on the road.

In the other portion of the bracket McNeese is in, Northwestern play Milwaukee, Oklahoma State plalys Harvard and Washington State plays Long Beach St.

Semifinals and finals of the tournament will be played at Madison Square Garden in New York city March 29 and 31.

ESPNU ANNOUNCERS

Serving as the announcers on ESPNU for Tuesday's ball game will be Mitch Holthus and Reid Gettys.

via Cowboys open NIT by hosting Boston College on Tuesday - MCNEESESPORTS.COM - Official Athletic Site of McNeese State University.

Get your tickets now so you don't miss history tonight!!!!