With NCAA and NIT bids out of the realm of possibility it remains to be seen if the Green Bay Phoenix 2018/2019 men’s basketball season is over or if it will continue in a third tier postseason tournament.
The Phoenix have appeared in such tournaments four times in their history: the College Basketball Invitational (CBI) in 2009, 2010, and 2017 and the CollegeInsider.com Tournament (CIT) in 2013.
According to the Green Bay Press-Gazette the Phoenix are open to continuing their season if they were to receive a bid from one of the tournaments, saying “it sounds like there is interest in playing should an invite happen.”
The paper added that, following Green Bay’s semifinals loss to Wright State, head coach Linc Darner said he “hopes Cohen, the only senior on the team, has an opportunity to play a few more games with the Phoenix before graduating.”
One thing to consider is that these tournaments usually cost money to play in, especially to host a game. Hosting a CBI game requires at least a $50,000 fee while hosting a CIT game requires as much as a $30,000 payment. Those costs can be offset by ticket, concessions, and parking sales but do not include the additional costs of game operations such as paying the arena workers.
Green Bay has been able to minimize or eliminate the entry fees for these tournaments in the past by entering into scheduling agreements for non-conference tournament events the following season with the event organizers or by choosing to start the tournament as the road team. The Phoenix have only hosted a CBI or CIT game once, losing to Vermont in the first round of the CBI back in 2009.
The Phoenix most recent postseason tournament appearance resulted in a 92-82 loss to UMKC in the CBI back in 2017.
Despite Green Bay’s average record (17-16) and middling NET ranking (221) there is a good chance the Phoenix receive a bid to either the 16-team CBI or 20-team CIT.
Both tournaments are geared mainly towards mid-major teams but the CBI, which began in 2008, has had high major teams participate in the past including Colorado, Oregon State, Penn State, Texas A&M, Purdue, Texas, Washington State, and Oregon. West Virginia plans to play in the CBI this season if they do not win the Big XII Tournament this weekend.
The average RPI rank for teams in the CBI last season was 170.9 ranging from Utah Valley (22-10, RPI rank 91) to Campbell, which finished the season 16-15 and ranked #254 in the RPI.
The CIT is open strictly to mid-majors and last season’s participants had an average final RPI of 182.9 ranging from tournament champion Northern Colorado at #99 to Abilene Christian at #263. Northern Colorado knocked off UIC in last year’s title game.
Several mid-major teams declined to participate in either the CBI or CIT last year despite successful seasons including Bradley, Oakland, Toledo, and VCU.
There’s a decent chance that Green Bay’s season will continue in one of the two third tier tournaments. If a bid comes their way, the Phoenix coaches and athletic department staff will have to weigh the pros and cons of likely having to pay to continue their season.
Brackets for both the CBI and CIT will be revealed on Sunday night following the announcements of both the NCAA and NIT brackets.
Categories: News and Notes