THE SPORTS ECONOMIST catches something that I’d imagine went under everyone’s radar: the birth of yet another postseason college basketball tournament.
The College Basketball Invitational (CBI) Postseason Tournament will take 16 teams left out of the NCAA madness to have their own tournament, which will begin on Tuesday night and air on the cable network known as Fox College Sports.
The games will be played at on-campus sites, and the championship “series” consists of three games in a home-away-home format to be played on March 31st, April 2nd and April 4th (if necessary). The addition of the College Basketball Invitational means that 113 Division I men’s basketball teams will participate in some sort of postseason tournament this season.
From the sound of things, the CBI will compete directly for teams with the NIT. The CBI is sponsored by the Gazelle Group, the organization that puts together many of the early-season tournaments that Division I teams play to prepare for their conference schedules.
This might be something that generates a little buzz for the college game, or it could be the XFL for college hoops. For those that follow the tournament solely to keep tabs on their brackets, the CBI may as well be an indoor track and field tournament, or some other event that fails to hold any mainstream interest. I always thought ignoring one tournament out of two was plenty.