So who you got? No, I'm not talking about Kansas/Kentucky/Purdue/Cornell. I'm talking about the other action! You know, NIT, CBI, CIT!
Who you got in those office pools?!.... Say what? What do you mean your office doesn't have a CBI pool?! Serious?! You mean you don't throw down $50 predicting who will win the CBI, hoping that the winnings can pay for your ISU season tickets next year? Well then! If you're going to read this feature, just pretend that you've got a lot on the line, or that you really care about the results. It will be more
fun interesting that way!
Honestly, all this bracket talk is stressing me out. I mean, I've got Butler winning in the first round, but everyone on TV is trying to tell me they won't! Then you've got Jay Bilas somehow having Cornell going deep, even though they play a good-ass Temple team in the first round! I hate stressing like this, and wish these guys would stop! I mean, if you ain't got Utah St going to the Sweet 16, then you're doing something wrong....right?
At this point, I'm ready for these guys to shutup and see some ball. I mean, it's all a crapshoot for the most part, and these guys get paid to beat this to death. I always use logic, and reason to make my NCAA brackets, and I typically get last in the office pools. While others are talking about Winthrop vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff, I just can't get amped to watch two teams play for the right to get creamed by Duke.
The good news is that some of the attention can be diverted because the NIT, CBI, and CIT all start today. I'm not really endorsing these tournaments, because they remind me of the overpopulation of College Bowl games.These are groups trying to capitalize on March Madness and put on their own tournament, but only the NIT is though provoking (and that may be eliminiated when the field of 65 expands to 96).
I do like the NIT. I honestly can get into it. I think it's quality basketball after the first round, it's covered by ESPN, meaning I can watch almost all the games. The Final Four in Madison Square Garden is as fun to watch (for me) as the Final Four of the NCAA tournament. What's also great is you get NIT during the week, then NCAA on the weekend (with a spinkle of NIT in there), then NIT during the week. If you're a big college basketball fan like myself, it helps get you ready and hold you over for the NCAA Tournament.
After the jump, I'm going to predict (for real) the "other" tournaments. You might be asking yourself why a Cyclone Blog would be doing this, and the answer is pretty much this: I love talking College Basketball and HATE the fact that my team's season is over.... But am glad they aren't playing in the CBI (more on this later)
Onto the predictions!
OK, these predictions are in order of when the game is played (in CST), along with the time and channel (if applicable) is on. Bolded team is my predicted winner
- Region 3 #4 UConn vs. #5 Northeastern - Tonight, 6pm ESPN 2
- Region 4 #2 UAB vs. #7 Coast Carolina - Tonight, 7pm
- Region 4 #3 South Florida vs. #6 NC St - Tonight, 7pm ESPNU
- Region 2 #4 Seton Hall vs. #5 Texas Tech - Tonight, 8pm ESPN2
- Region 4 #4 UNC vs. #5 William & Mary - Tonight, 8:30pm ESPN
- Region 4 #1 Mississippi St vs. #8 Jackson St - Tonight, 9pm ESPNU
- Region 2 #1 Arizona St vs. #8 Jacksonville - Tonight, 10pm ESPN2
- Region 3 #2 Rhode Island vs. #7 Northwestern - Tomorrow, 6pm ESPNU
- Region 3 #1 Va Tech vs. #8 Quinnipiac - Tomorrow, 6pm
- Region 1 #2 Cincy vs. #7 Weber St. - Tomorrow, 6pm ESPN2
- Region 1 #3 Dayton vs. #6 Illinois St - Tomorrow, 6pm
- Region 1 #4 Kent St. vs. #5 Tulsa - Tomorrow, 6pm
- Region 2 #2 Mississippi vs. #7 Troy - Tomorrow, 7pm
- Region 3 #3 Wichita St vs. #6 Nevada - Tomorrow, 7pm
- Region 2 #3 Memphis vs. #6 St. John's - Tomorrow, 8pm ESPN2
- Region 1 #1 Illinois vs. #8 Stony Brook - Tomorrow, 8pm ESPNU
The second day of the 1st Round gets kind of screwed by the TV coverage. The early rounds there really are some big mismatches, mostly because you have teams that are NCAA-good (like VA Tech) vs. others that are just happy to be in the dance. It will be a lot more interesting after the opening round.
The rest of the schedule dependent on what the matchups are, so I'm just going to make my picks by region
- Region 1 #1 Illinois vs. #5 Tulsa
- Region 1 #2 Cincy vs. #3 Dayton
- Region 2 #1 Arizona St vs. #4 Seton Hall
- Region 2 #2 Mississippi vs. #3 Memphis
- Region 3 #1 Virginia Tech vs. #4 UConn
- Region 3 #3 Wichita St vs. #7 Northwestern
- Region 4 #1 Mississippi St vs. #4 UNC
- Region 4 #2 UAB vs. #6 NC-St
- Region 1 #1 Illinois vs. #3 Dayton
- Region 2 #3 Memphis vs. #4 Seton Hall
- Region 3 #1 Virginia Tech vs. #7 Northwestern
- Region 4 #1 Mississippi St vs. #6 NC-St
- #3 Dayton vs. #3 Memphis
- #1 VA Tech vs. #1 Mississippi St
- #1 VA Tech vs. #3 Dayton
So I've got the Hokies cutting down the nets at Madison Square Garden, in a hard fought battle with Dayton. Looking at the matchups from the 2nd Round and on, no matter where it goes, it's going to be fun to watch.
Now, onto the CBI. If you are easiy offended, or have fears of looking at ugly things, you might want to stop reading.... Because the dropoff is big from the NIT here with probably one exception.
- Region 1 Indiana St @ Saint Louis
- Region 1 Green Bay @ Akron
- Region 2 VCU @ George Washington
- Region 2 Charleston @ Eastern Kentucky
- Region 3 Boston University @ Oregon St
- Region 3 Colorado St @. Morehead St
- Region 4 IUPUI @ Hofstra
- Region 4 Duquesne @ Princeton
Wow, what a brutal tournament. I'm not going to lie. It's a pretty tough one to endorse. I feel bad for VCU, a team that's as good as any of the NIT teams (they are very similar to Illinois). Not only do they get snubbed from the NIT, but they have to play an away game in this tournament... Also, there were rumors floating of the CBI wanting Iowa State, and I'm SO glad that we didn't entertain that thought. I just couldn't get excited to play any of these teams. Reminds me too much of the Non-Conference scheduling. Anyhow, I've gotten this far, so let's finish this tournament off!
- Region 1 Saint Louis vs. Akron
- Region 2 VCU vs. Charleston
- Region 3 Oregon St vs. Colorado St
- Region 4 Hofstra vs. Princeton
- Saint Louis vs. VCU
- Oregon St vs. Hofstra
- VCU vs. Hofstra (in two games), best of 3
There is no bracket, as they reseed based on results. So, I'm going to pick opening round winners, and the team I think is the best. It's too bad none of this is on TV, only because I'd like to see what Larry Eustachy looks like on the sidelines these days. Is he still crazy, or more mellow? I didn't get to watch any CUSA action this year, so I don't know.
- Fairfield @ George Mason
- W. Carolina @ Marshall
- South Dakota @ Creighton
- Harvard @ Appalachin St
- Midd Tenn St @ Missouri St
- Portland @ Northern Colorado
- Pacific @ Loyola Marymount
- Southern Miss @ LA Tech
At the end of the day, I think Marshall finds a way to win the whole thing. They got screwed as well. Same record as UAB (a #2 seed in the NIT), and they end up two tournaments below it.
So back to the original question, who you got in the NIT, CBI, and CIT (Remember, you supposed to still be pretending that you've spent a crapton on each, hoping to win that giant pool of cash)?
Likely tomorrow, we'll get back on track and talk about the NCAA Bracket a little bit more, along with some ways to ensure you lose the entire thing! Just had to take a much needed break of analyzing brackets.