OK, maybe I just missed this earlier, but has anybody else even heard of this thing? The story I found was from November.
"The College Basketball Invitational will be staged this March by The Gazelle Group, which is based in Princeton, N.J., and runs the 2K Sports College Hoop Classic that benefits Coaches vs. Cancer and the O'Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic."
Apparently Virginia accepted a bid? So this is for the teams that couldn't make the NCAA Tourney, didn't get invited to the NIT even, so they go to this? Makes Bobby Knight's suggestion of just expanding the field to 128 look sensible. My dad heard the teams that participate have to guarantee a certain ticket revenue, and the sponsors get a pretty big portion--I couldn't find that anywhere.
More here, including schedule (2 out of 3 for the final) and TV (Fox, of course).
I kinda like the notion of a 2-out-of-3 championship tournament, though upsets and surprises are what make the NCAA tourney so great. If NC State had to win 2-out-of-3 Lorenzo Charles would be a forgotten memory, not a hero.
--Jason "this tourney seems really small-time though" Evans
The CBI is trying to present itself as an alternative to the NIT. It hopes to compete with the NIT for teams that didn't make the NCAA field.
Did Wake Forest turn down an NIT bid or something? How did they not make EITHER of these tournaments?
Wake was not invited to the NIT. I don't know if they were formally invited to the CBI but Ron Wellman let them know that Wake wasn't interested.
I was surprised that Wake wasn't invited to the NIT. On the other hand, their RPI was 100 and the NIT was contracturally bound to take any regular-season conference champs that didn't make the NCAA field, it's hard to argue that they were robbed.
Wake was not invited to the NIT -- and they were pissed. With a young team, Gaudio thought the NIT experience would help prepare his guys for next year.
Apparently, they turned down the CBI. Don't ask me toi explain -- except it might illustrate the low status of the CBI in many eyes.
If anybody's interested, there's a good bit of ACC action in those two tournaments tonight.
In the CBI, Virginia (the only ACC entry) hosts Richmond at 7 p.m. I think the game is on Fox Sports South. If the Cavs win, they get to host the winner of Old Dominion and Rider on March 24.
After that, the field is re-seeded, so no telling who and where they'll play in the semifinals -- Washington, UTEP and Bradley are the other three No. 1 seeds at the moment.
In tonight's NIT action, Akron is at Florida State at 9 p.m. on ESPN Classic; Maryland is at Minnesota at 9:30 on ESPN2 (I think it's the deuce, but my printer cut off the edge of my bracket and I'm not sure ... defenitely one of the ESPN networks).
Virginia Tech gets Morgan State at home Wednesday at 7 p.m. on ESPN Classic. The Hokies are the top seed in their region ... they'll host the winner of VCU-UAB in the second round. They have the best chance to get to New York with home games all the way.
If Maryland survives Minnesota, they have to play at Syracuse in the second round.
FSU is in the same bracket. They'll get another home game in the second round with either UMass or Stephen F. Austin, but they they'll have to go to Syracuse in the quarterfinals (unless Maryland beats them first!).
I wonder if it also had to do with money. My dad talked to someone who said the schools that participate have to guarantee $60,000 in ticket sales for the game, and the promoters get a cut of that, then their cut goes up for anything over that. Sounded like a lot of money, but I don't really know. However, I haven't been able to find those figures confirmed anywhere in writing.
I think I read somewhere that the NIT tends to automatically invite teams that lost in their conference tournament? But maybe I misread that for the above stated fact, that they invite regular season conference champs.
What's really sad is that Duke lost to a team (Wake) that didn't make the NCAA tourney, the Not Invited Tourney, nor the CBI tourney...
"Big East commissioner Michael Tranghese said his schools "are free to go and play in any event. I just don't know if there's a market for a third tournament, but this is the land of opportunity." "We would never tell our schools what to do or not to do in a situation like this," Tranghese said Wednesday. "Since this group produces some early-season events I could see that having something to do with certain decisions." The tournament has received a negative review from Missouri athletic director Mike Alden who has rejected what might be the basketball team's best hope for a postseason bid when he rejected the idea that Missouri would play in the tournament. Among his objections to playing in the tournament is that teams are being asked for a guarantee of $60,000 paid to The Gazelle Group ."
Wake was totally deserving, though. I'm amazed they didn't get a bid.