CBI 2022: tournament table, schedule, format and teams to watch | Launderer’s report

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    There is no doubt that March is the best time of year for college basketball. Exciting action unfolds all month, and there’s never a shortage of games to watch, from conference championships to March Madness.

    For teams that miss the NCAA Tournament, the season does not have to end, as there are several other post-season tournaments that schools can be invited to. The best known is the National Invitation Tournament, but another is the College Basketball Invitational.

    The CBI, first held in 2008, is a 16-team tournament played at Ocean Center in Daytona Beach, Florida. The 2020 edition was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, while the 2021 event was limited to eight teams. This year’s tournament, taking place March 19-23, will return with a full field.

    Here’s the 2022 CBI schedule, followed by the top teams to watch in the tournament.

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    First round

    Game 1: Drake No. 1 vs. Purdue Fort Wayne No. 16, Saturday at noon ET

    Game 2: Stephen F. Austin No. 4 vs. Ashville No. 13 UNC, Saturday at 2:30 p.m. ET

    Game 3: No. 2 Middle Tennessee vs. No. 15 California Baptist, Saturday at 5 p.m. ET

    Game 4: No. 3 Ohio vs. No. 14 Rice, Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET

    Game 5: No. 8 VMI vs. No. 9 Wilmington UNC, Sunday at noon ET

    Game 6: No. 5 Florida Atlantic vs. No. 12 Northern Colorado, Sunday at 2:30 p.m. ET

    Game 7: No. 7 UNC Greensboro vs. No. 10 Boston, Sunday at 5 p.m. ET

    Game 8: No. 6 Abilene Christian vs. No. 11 Troy, Sunday at 7:30 p.m. ET

    Quarter-finals

    Game 9: Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 5, March 21 at 1 p.m. ET

    Game 10: Winner of Game 2 vs. Winner of Game 6, March 21 at 3:30 p.m. ET

    Game 11: Winner of Game 3 vs. Winner of Game 7, March 21 at 6 p.m. ET

    Game 12: Game 4 winner vs. Game 8 winner, March 21 at 8:30 p.m. ET

    Semi-finals

    Game 13: Game 9 winner vs. Game 10 winner, March 22 at 7 p.m. ET

    Game 14: Game 11 winner vs. Game 12 winner, March 22 at 9:30 p.m. ET

    Championship

    Game 15: Game 13 winner vs. Game 14 winner, March 23 at 5 p.m. ET

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    Drake won his final five games of the regular season, then opened the Missouri Valley Conference tournament with victories over Southern Illinois and Missouri State. The Bulldogs needed just one win to enter the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year.

    However, Drake went a little short this time. He lost 64-58 to Loyola Chicago, and the Bulldogs’ resume wasn’t strong enough for a general offer to March Madness. But they will be among the top contenders for the CBI as the No. 1 seed in the tournament.

    Freshman guard Tucker Devries (a team-high 13.9 points per game) is one of six Drake players who have averaged at least 8.9 points per game this season. The Bulldogs have a balanced roster and are a well-rounded team. They may have a shot at dominating the CBI and fighting their way to a tournament title.

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    Middle Tennessee suffered a heartbreaking loss in the semifinals of the Conference USA tournament in a game that could easily have gone the other way. It took three overtimes to decide the Blue Raiders’ game against UAB, but they came out on the wrong end with a 102-98 loss.

    It was Middle Tennessee’s third loss in four games as they struggled a bit later. But the Blue Raiders had won 13 of the previous 14 games, so they are clearly capable of getting hot and stringing together, something they have the potential to do in the CBI.

    With a trio of guards leading his offensive offense – senior Josh Jefferson (14.7 ppg), second Eli Lawrence (11.1) and senior Donovan Sims (11.0)—Middle Tennessee could be a tough game for some of the teams in this tournament. As the No. 2 seed, the Blue Raiders are one of the strongest teams on the field.

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    Although Stephen F. Austin is the No. 4 seed, it is one of the hottest teams in the CBI field. The Lumberjacks ended the regular season on a 10-game winning streak, as they finished 14-4 in Western Athletic Conference play and looked set for a strong performance in the conference tournament.

    That didn’t end up happening, however. Stephen F. Austin was eliminated by Abilene Christian (who also plays in the CBI) in the quarter-finals of the WAC tournament. But it could have been a draw for the Lumberjacks, who showed they were better than that for much of the season.

    Senior forward Gavin Kensmil (16.7 points and 6.8 rebounds per game) is among the best players to compete in the CBI, and he could propel Stephen F. Austin to success. Lumberjacks should be able to take out the highest seeds if they can play to their potential.

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