The CBI is the brain-child of the Gazelle Group, who decided in 2007 that a 65 team NCAA Tournament and 32 team NIT wasn't enough postseason basketball, and thus the 16 team CBI was born.
Between these three tourneys and the newly created Collegeinsider.com Tournament, there were a lot of spots and in a down year not a lot of eligible and willing teams. Appropriately enough, several eligible teams refused to play in the CBI. The snubs and the alternate tournament left such a dearth of eligible teams that the CBI actually had to delay announcing their field for several hours as they scrambled to fill it. The end result though, similar to the Collegeinsider.com Tournament, is a mix of mid-majors and high end conference low-enders.
Since the CBI follows a wonky four pod seeding format and then re-seeds teams before their semifinal, I'm not going to do a full tournament projection. Instead, I'll project each team's chances of making the CBI Final Four. I'll do a subsequent post after the re-seeding for the CBI Final Four teams.
Motivations will not be considered here as I did with the NIT, since most of these teams are low and mid-major conference teams who are happy to play.
Odds of making the CBI Final Four:
1. Saint Louis: 53.9%
2. Akron: 29.2%
3. UW Green Bay: 10 to 1
4. Indiana State: 12 to 1
1. George Washington: 31.1%
2. Eastern Kentucky: 6 to 1
3. College of Charleston: 9 to 1
4. VCU: 43.3%
1. Oregon State: 42.1%
2. Morehead State: 36.8%
3. Colorado State: 8 to 1
4. Boston U: 9 to 1
1. Hofstra: 41.0%
2. Princeton: 26.3%
3. Duquesne: 11 to 2
4. IUPUI: 5 to 1
- As you can see, very few teams are out of the hunt. This is a fairly competitive field from top to bottom, with a lot of parity. Had many of the CBI's desired majors accepted a bid, this would not have happened. As it stands, a lot of low and mid-majors meshed with the lesser big conference teams to create parity.
- VCU was badly mis-seeded but it looks like the CBI got it right otherwise.
- In fact, without knowing the re-seeding matchups, VCU is my pick to win this thing.
Final note: Though I planned to do a preview of the Collegeinsider.com Tournament (CIT), the unspecified re-draw format for subsequent rounds makes that a bit infeasible. Therefore, I won't bother. But I will say my bird's-eye pick to win the CIT is Portland.