Ball State men's basketball (21-12) accepted a bid to the tournament for the second straight season. The Cardinals open up first round play Wednesday against the Fort Wayne Mastodons (19-12) in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Playing in the CIT marks the 13th postseason appearance for Ball State in Division-I play.

The Mastodons are making their fourth-straight tournament appearance which includes playing in the CIT in 2014 and 2015. Last year, Fort Wayne played in the National Insiders Tournament in 2016.

Ball State stats:

Field goal percentage: 46.2

Assists: 15.6

Leading scorer: Tayler Persons — 16.3

Fort Wayne stats:

Field goal percentage: 49.7

Assists: 17.5

Leading scorer: Mo Evans — 16.8

Statistically, Fort Wayne's offense compares to the likes of Central Michigan. The Mastodons average 87.7 points per game and have a 49.7 field goal percentage.

Senior guard Mo Evans (16.8) and redshirt junior Bryson Scott (16.5) are the anchors of an offense that has four players averaging double-digit scoring.

Scott is the twin to Indiana State University's Brenton Scott who put up 25 points against Ball State in an 80-74 overtime victory on Nov. 15.

Last season, Ball State advanced to the third round of the CIT winning two overtime games before losing to Columbia University.

For the first time since the 1991-92 season Ball State hit the 20-win mark. This season the Cardinals reached 20 wins before beginning CIT play.

First round of the CIT Lou Henson Classic honoring the famed New Mexico State and Illinois head coach is set for Wednesday at 7 p.m.