There is no way to sugar coat that this is not the place we wanted to be. In an ideal world Watt does not get that border line Technical, or Filzen hits the last second three. In a near ideal world an RPI of 78 would have been enough to snag an NIT at large bit.
So we know were not in an ideal world. But this is an opportunity. The CIT is the most oddish tournament around so it has something of a poor reputation. I think that the oddities, no matter how maligned, make it a better tournament than the CBI.
The Bulls took the bid which had been intended for the University of Northern Iowa. The Panthers got a ticket to the NIT and UB was available, one of the better teams still around.
|Weber State||Big Sky||24–6||70|
|UC Santa Barbara||Big West||20–10||118|
|Cal State Fullerton||Big West||21–9||157|
|Coastal Carolina||Big South||19–11||182|
|Cal State Bakersfield||Ind.||16–14||212|
|Utah Valley||G. West||20–12||230|
|North Dakota||G. West||17–14||242|
So here is the field for this years College Insiders Tournament.
32 teams and so it grows.
Personally I kind of liked last seasons format.
The field of was 24 is whittled down to 12 and the top 4 seeds remaining get their bye. They then take on the four teams who get out of round two. Buffalo has the second highest RPI in the bracket so it's likely that if UB knocks off American they will get a pass into the quarter finals.
This year is seems the CIT expanded its field to 32 and eliminated the byes.
Probably an hour before the 2012 CIT field was announced, the field was going to be 24 teams and follow the same format as last year. And then they announced a 32-team field. Again ... why not? It's their tournament. They can do what they please. Not enough tournaments wing it, if you ask me. -- Matt Sussman (Hustle Belt)
So that little quirk is gone. Mores the pity..
Home games are bought, not earned
It's a frustrating aspect of both the CBI and the CIT because the best teams often take to the road. Had we been matched up with Albany or Manhattan (who play each other in the first round) travels not a big deal. But given we go to DC it might cut down on how many fans make the trip.
The CIT uses the money paid out by home teams to help fund travel for the road teams. In effect UB is not spending a lot of money on their post season play. Usually the home games are bought up by the teams who average four thousand or more fans per game.
Reseeding after rounds
The CIT is not a true bracket. After the first round the brackets are shuffled and reseeded for two purposes. First to reduce travel and bring games close to their fan bases. If Buffalo wins and Albany or Manhattan makes are paying for a second round home game I suspect we will face them.
It also allows for maintaining a path for the stronger teams in which you don't have your best teams face off early in the competition. It's really the same objective the MAC had in it's new conference tournament and most people agree that everything in Cleveland played out nicely.
Who knows if UB wins, and is willing to buy maybe we can host Albany?
No Big Six Teams
Perhaps the most common slam on the CIT is fact they do not take Big Six Teams. The mid-major only status of the competition makes many basketball fans think of this as the "Small Time" tournament. Those critics are ignoring two major issues.
The first is that the Big 6 have a history of snubbing anything but the NCAA and the NIT. Heck some of them have even spurned the NIT. There is no guarantee that if you invite a school who failed to make the NIT or NCAA they would even compete.
Secondly those teams who might take up an invitation are not exactly the power houses of the world. Who's left? In the ACC you have 9-22 Boston College. Maybe the Big 10's 12-20 Penn State? Are we really doing worse with Coastal Carolina than we would be with those "Big Name" teams?
This could be fun... again!
Last season making the CIT was a pleasant surprise, this year is came after a good deal of heart brake but hopefully the results are the same. Some wins, some fun, and a chance to let our seniors wear the Blue and White for another week or so.