The Scarlet Knights received the No. 10 seed in the Midwest Region. The team will face the No.7-seeded Clemson Tigers on Friday and are set to play at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis as the entire basketball tournament will take place in Indiana as part of the NCAA’s efforts to limit potential coronavirus exposure. The game will tip off at 9:20 p.m. ET and will be televised on TBS.
“Our guys are excited to be in the tournament for the first time in 30 years and to have a chance to play for a national championship,” Rutgers head coach Steve Pickiell said via the team’s website. “We have a great group of guys that have worked very hard. It’s a real challenging league. We navigated COVID. I’m thankful for a lot of people for all their hard work to get us to this point. I’m really excited for Rutgers nation. It’s a great honor. It’s a great opportunity and we’re very excited about it.”
Rutgers finished the 2020-21 season with a 15-11 record and a 10-10 record in the Big Ten. The Scarlet Knights lost to Illinois in the conference tournament.
The team finished 20-11 in 2019-20 and would have likely made the tournament if it wasn’t canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“When was saw our name got called, it was everything we dreamed up,” Scarlet Knights star Geo Baker said. “It felt like all our hard work had paid off. Everyone had a lot of emotions. We’re excited to keep playing in March.”
Rutgers last made the tournament in 1991 when the team was still in the Atlantic 10 Conference. The Scarlet Knights finished 19-10 under coach Bob Wenzel. Keith Hughes and Earl Duncan were leading the team in scoring.