Sports | 8:55 pm | March 11, 2012 | By Charles Condro

M. BASKETBALL | Elis head to postseason tournament

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Photo by Jacob Geiger.

Yale’s men’s basketball team has accepted an invitation to the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT), according to assistant director of sports publicity Tim Bennett.

The Bulldogs are heading back to the postseason for the first time since the 2001-’02 season. That season, the Elis claimed their first postseason victory in school history by defeating Rutgers in the 2002 National Invitation Tournament (NIT), before falling to Tennessee Tech in the second round.

Connecticut Six foe Fairfield University (19-14) stands between Yale and its second-ever postseason victory. A win would also secure the sixth 20-win season in the history of Yale basketball.

The Stags enter the CIT after falling just short of an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament – losing to Loyola of Maryland (24-8) 48-44 in the championship game of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament.

The announcement that the Bulldogs will go dancing follows a string of good news for Yale basketball in the past few days. Center Greg Mangano ’12 was chosen as first-team All-Ivy for the second year in a row, and captain Reggie Willhite ’12 was honored as the Ivy League Defensive player of the year. Willhite was also selected as second-team All-Ivy.

Mangano topped the league by averaging 9.7 rebounds per game on the year and blocking 64 shots. He also finished second to Penn guard Zack Rosen with 18.2 points per contest.

Willhite paced the Ancient Eight with 63 steals on the way to a Yale single-season record. He also averaged 12.2 points and four assists per game.

Although Willhite finished the regular season ranked 19th in the nation with 2.25 steals per game, head coach James Jones said that Willhite fills multiple roles for the Bulldogs.

“I’m going to have to get [Willhite] a cape,” Jones said. “He does everything for us.”

Although the Elis have not faced Fairfield in almost five years, Fairfield head coach Sydney Johnson has battled the Bulldogs more recently. Johnson had coached the Princeton Tigers from 2007-2011.

With Johnson at the helm, the Tigers went 5-3 against Yale. He also led Princeton to a 2011 Ivy League title.

Tickets for Wednesday’s game will be on sale through the Fairfield athletic website at http://www.fairfieldstags.com/.

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