“C – UUUUUU! A – A!” You know you’ve been at Concordia Invitational Tournament (CIT) games all day when you can still hear the cheers ringing in your ears as you fall asleep.

College is full of unforgettable moments, and as a Concordia student, CIT is one of them. Hosted by one of four Concordia University System schools each January, this high-rivalry men’s and women’s basketball tournament has been in existence for nearly 70 years, making it one of the longest-running tournaments in the country!

Whether it’s the overnight bus drive to Concordia University Nebraska or a last-second, game-winning score, each year the tournament brings its own set of experiences. If you begin attending your freshman year, you’ll have gotten to experience the tournament in four different cities and campus settings by the time you graduate.

The competition is only one of the reasons CIT shouldn’t be missed. Here are some of the best parts of CIT (from a Cardinal’s perspective) and why you HAVE to go:

1. The Red C

This is the name of CUAA’s fan section because the Cardinals are red, and Concordia starts with a C… Get it? The most epic student section of the year, along with cheering so loudly many lose their voices, our student section does our own rendition of Moses and the Red Sea, but without any water. The cheers are led by our cheer and dance teams, whose pep is unmatched.

2. Half-time shows

Half-time shows at CIT are also a competition, the dance and cheer squads compete against other Concordia’s, in a battle that is highly entertaining. There are also a few surprises along the way, like in 2017 when President Ferry did the dab in the middle of a choreographed dance.

3. Battle of the Bands

The pep band music is part of what makes the atmosphere so fun. It’s hard to pick a favorite song, since I love just watching the bands battle it out for most creative, loud or funny song!

4. Seeing other Concordia University campuses

Since the host rotates every year, if you go four-for-four on your CIT attendance you get the chance to tour three amazing Concordia campuses, and meet triple the number of people who love CIT as much as you do. With all of your new friends from other Concordias, you’ll get to learn some of the best-kept secrets of each campus. Plus, the hosting Concordia always hosts an event on Friday night after the games for students from all campuses to get together.

5. Concordia Rivalry Roasts

Each Concordia is unique, and it’s fun to tease each other about what makes us different. All in good fun, of course! Like for instance, CUW’s stinky cheese, or just how much corn surrounds Concordia Nebraska.

6. Overall School Spirit

No matter what Concordia you’re representing, the school spirit is tangible, from the moment you walk in the doors you know you are a part of a group of people who love Concordia as much as you do. And, they’re pretty proud of it, too.

— Esther Schulze is pursuing her bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Art. She will graduate in 2020.

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