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The NIT and the CBI

Only one team can be the first-ever champions of the CBI. (The Daily Progress Via Associated Press Photo.)

Evidently I was the only person in America frantically hitting refresh on the CBI's bracket page last night. The new 16-team event with the bizarre rules (re-seeding before the semifinals, best-of-three championship series) had promised that its field would be unveiled on Sunday night, but I didn't get the e-mailed CBI brackets until 1:54 a.m., by which point I had already given up.

But of the 32 NIT teams and 16 CBI teams, our tri-state-and-district region (henceforth: The Atlantic 11) advanced another seven teams to the postseason. (See a PDF NIT bracket here.) In addition to the six NCAA tournament teams (four of which were 15 seeds or lower), the local entries include:

* Local No. 5 Virginia Tech, which will host Local No. 7 Morgan State in the NIT's first round, giving us yet another all-local postseason game. (The others are Mount St. Mary's vs. Coppin State in the NCAA play-in game, and Local No. 1 Georgetown vs. Local No. 3 UMBC in the NCAA first round.)

* Local No. 4 VCU, which will host UAB in an NIT first-round game. Having followed these teams all year, I think we can all agree that VCU and Virginia Tech had fairly identical profiles, and they flip-flopped in our rankings for much of the season. I found it slightly bizarre that the NIT gave Va. Tech a one seed, and made VCU a four. By that logic, the Rams were no better than 13th in line for a tourney bid.

* Local No. 8 Maryland, which will travel to Minnesota for an NIT first-round game. Maryland is an NIT fifth-seed, which hasn't caused much angst but which is a lot more shocking than the Terps missing the tournament.

* Local No. 10 Virginia, which will host the now-we're-ranked now-we're-not Richmond Spiders in a FOURTH all-local postseason game, this one in the CBI.

* Local No. 11 Old Dominion, which will host the MAAC's Rider in a fascinating all-mid-major first-round CBI game.

William & Mary was the only ranked team in last week's Atlantic 11 that came up empty in the postseason tourney game, although I'm sure someone will create another event in the next few minutes that will include the Tribe. About one-third of national Division I programs are still playing basketball, but just about 50 percent of the Atlantic 11 is still alive for a national championship. If Georgetown (NCAA), Maryland (NIT) and Virginia (CBI) all win titles, I suggest we hold a joint victory parade around the Beltway.

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 17, 2008; 12:29 PM ET
Categories:  College Basketball  
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The link to the NIT bracket goes to the CBI bracket which leaves us in the SOL bracket. :)

Posted by: Eddie C | March 17, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Here's the NIT bracket, for entertainment purposes only:

Posted by: Eddie C | March 17, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

While I do think these "extra" tournaments are stretching the limits of demand, it's nice for the local fans to see their teams play another time or two. Go $ean $ingletary!

Posted by: wilby | March 17, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

I was also hitting refresh on the gazelle site hoping W&M would get its CBI bid. Anything to add another banner next to the "1983 NIT" one at the Hall. Looks like it will be alone for another year.

Posted by: Matt C | March 17, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

The closer the CBI gets, the more it sounds like a post-season invitational with participation fees like you would find at the youth level.

Posted by: sitruc | March 17, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

I would have rather seen a bracket of CSI shows, competing for prime time dominance.

Posted by: | March 17, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

I'm seriously debating whether it's worth my time to drive a mile or two to JPJ to watch Virginia play Richmond. On the one hand, it's sorta historic. On the other hand, I have seen them play this year, and it ain't pretty.

Posted by: Eric Angevine | March 17, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Virginia is spending $60,000 to host a CBI game, William & Mary is not. The superior program is obvious.

Posted by: Everett W. | March 18, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

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