Is Murray State The 2012 Charleston Classic's Eighth Team?

via wikipedia.org

The 2012 Charleston Classic field already includes Baylor, Boston College, College of Charleston, Colorado, Dayton, Southern Illinois and St. John's. But that's just seven teams for an eight-team tournament with the final slot "to be determined."

Could that eighth and final team be the Murray State Racers? Andy Katz says ... maybe.

Murray State coach Steve Prohm said he is desperately seeking a tournament for next season and is attempting to get into the Charleston Classic. He said he's willing to open up against a high-major on the road or in the first week, but needs a home-and-home series with the home game being next year. This is the price a school like Murray pays for having an outstanding season and returning an all-American candidate in Isaiah Canaan.

Murray State would be an intriguing addition to this year's Charleston Classic field. The Racers started the season 23-0 and earned a six seed in this year's NCAA Tournament.

Frankly, the more tournament teams in this year's Charleston Classic field, the better. Of the seven teams previously announced in this year's field, only two -- Baylor and Colorado -- made this year's NCAA Tournament. Baylor, along with former player Brady Heslip, figures to be the favorite in this year's field. But outside of those two, this year's field leaves a lot to be desired.

Dayton returns some talent next season and is coming off a 20-win season and an NIT berth, while host College of Charleston figures to be dangerous. But St. John's was almost as bad as BC was last year and Southern Illinois won one less game playing in the Missouri Valley than BC did last season playing in the ACC.

The St. John's blog Rumble in the Garden gives us the rundown on next year's Murray State squad.

The addition of Kentucky's Murray State would make the Classic even more competitive, and would add another NCAA Tournament team to the tournament mix. The Racers return five seniors, including a possible All-America candidate in guard Isaiah Canaan at the point guard spot; the team expects wins in the NCAA Tournament once again.

Isaiah Canaan had legitimate interest from the NBA, but decided to stay in school for his senior season.

I say the more, the merrier. I'd rather see the Eagles play some tournament-tested teams in the annual holiday tournament instead of eeking out OT wins over programs only a decade removed from Division 2. Potentially adding Murray State only adds to the Charleston Classic and increases BC's chances of going up against an NCAA Tournament team from a season ago (instead of, say, drawing the Red Storm or the Salukis).

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