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Just when you thought there was just the NCAA Tournament and the NIT, along comes yet another tournament. This time, the new player in the postseason slate is the CBI, which stands for College Basketball Invitational. This tournament got a mention on ESPN's Pardon The Interuption and while it may not have the charisma of the NCAA Tournament or the NIT, it gives 16 teams that were snubbed by both the NCAA Tournament and the NIT a chance to prove to the rest of basketball that they are just as good.
Like the NIT, the tournament will be hosted at on-campus arenas throughout the country and be a single-elimination tournament. Bracketing was done just like the NCAA with regional seedings, East, South, Midwest and West and took place after the NCAA selected their field of 65. Here's where the similarities end. The championship series will be the best 2 of 3, home-away-home, in which the higher seed will get the first and last (if necessary) home games. The selection of teams is done in almost the same manner, basing performance on conference play and non-conference play.
It sounds pretty interesting. It might work. All the games will be telecast on the FOX College Sports Television Network and more information, including the bracket, on their website, www.gazellegroup.com/cbi/index_main.htm.
Games in round one begin tonight with Richmond at Virginia, Rider at Old Dominon, Houston at New Mexico and Brown at Ohio. Round 1 games Wednesday night include Cincinnati at Bradley, Miami (Ohio) at Tulsa, Valparaiso at Washington and Utah at Texas-El Paso. Quarterfinals start March 24th with semifinal play starting two nights later. The best of 3 championship series starts March 31st with game 2 on April 2nd and game 3 (if needed) on April 4th.
As Arte Johnson would say, "Very interesting."