The Other Final Four Story
Update II: Disregard the below. The CBI is a 3-game format. Good grief.
Update: Congratulations to the Broncos of Santa Clara for winning the CBI.
THE FINAL FOUR is in Atlanta this weekend. But it is not the only final four in March. There are three other tournaments, including the venerable National Invitational Tournament (the “NIT”), still ongoing. The other two tournaments are the CIT and the CBI. There are more champions to be crowned.
For the NIT, Big 10 basketball is coming to your television set tomorrow. Although it is unclear who televises the NIT, the NIT semifinals include a barn-burner between Iowa-Maryland. It is a barn-burner in the sense that, if Iowa loses, they will set their barns on fire. Maryland, cash poor after being
incompetently run for a long long time in the ACC for all these years, does not even have barns. Yet. So this is far from a true, double-barn barn-burner. In any event, this matchup promises to be a preview of all the great Maryland-Iowa rivalry games to be seen in the future. Jim Delaney must be so very proud.
If one game has a rather plain Big 10 aftertaste, the other game has some Big XII intrigue. Current Big XII power Baylor takes on a school that most expansion experts like to shift right into a non-existent Big XII vacancy, Brigham Young University. So we are looking at an NIT final–on whatever day the NIT final is–between teams between the Big 10 (kinda) and the Big XII (OK, a stretch). One of these teams will take home the crown of being #69. Commence giggling.
The CIT and CBI are both are past the final four stage. The CIT is down to its final game, featuring a future member of the “Big East Leftovers,” East Carolina, and Weber State. We are not sure what the CIT was thinking, they are holding this game on the same day as the NIT semifinals. A lot of tough remote control decisions across America.
Did you know? There is no state named Weber. Weber State is in Utah.
Meanwhile, the CBI, which may stand for the Cinderella Basketball Invitation, will hold a championship game between George Mason and Santa Clara. Santa Clara made a name for itself by beating #2 seed, Arizona, in the 1993 Big Dance. George Mason made a name for itself a few years ago, with a magical run to the Final Four.
Did you know? The CBI Tournament Championship Game was actually last night. Do you know who won? Seriously, let us know. It’s hard to find the scores on ESPN.com.
While the festivities in Atlanta promise to be memorable this weekend, just remember that there are other tournaments wrapping up. We’ll even let you root for Maryland. It would be cute if they won something, even if they do end up pawning the trophy to buy socks for their lacrosse team.