Tag:College Basketball Invitational
Posted on: March 21, 2008 10:45 am
Edited on: March 21, 2008 10:46 am

The CBI is silly (but the games are close)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Thank God it's Friday!

And I sure hope it's better than Thursday.

Yes, the Duke-Belmont game was fabulous,  a reminder of what makes the NCAA tournament the greatest postseason event in American sports. But outside of that, well, there wasn't much to hold anybody's interest. I mean, did you see the final scores?

Xavier 73, Georgia 61.

That's how the day began.

UCLA 70, Mississippi Valley State 29.

That's how the day ended.

And in between it was more of the same as 13 of Thursday's 16 first-round matchups were decided by double-digits. The only exceptions were Duke-Belmont, Kentucky-Marquette and Texas A&M-BYU, and it was almost enough to make me yearn for the College Basketball Invitational.

Have you been following the CBI?

If so, you've got a serious problem that must be addressed immediately.

But at least that silly event is producing competitive games, even if they are insignificant.

Six of the CBI's eight games have been decided by six points or less because nothing screams "this is gonna be a tight one" like Valparaiso-Washington and Houston-Nevada. Valpo beat Washington by a point; Houston beat Nevada by a point. And it was so exciting that Houston coach Tom Penders compared the atmosphere to, well, I'll just let you read the quote.

"It was a heck of a game," Penders said. "This CBI is going to be something special and it's nice to be one of the first 16 teams invited to this. It was like a national championship environment in here."

Seriously, Tom?

A national championship environment?

Clearly, it's been a long time since Penders has sniffed a national championship environment. That's why he's coaching at Houston instead of Texas. But in fairness, Houston's 80-79 win over Nevada does sound like it was a "heck of a game" if only because it was competitive. And given what we witnessed in the NCAA tournament on Thursday I'm inclined to root for competitiveness, regardless of the event.
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