The Penn State men’s basketball season isn’t over just yet. It might not have been what the squad set out for at the beginning of the season, but Penn State earned and accepted an invitation to play in the College Basketball Invitational. The CBI, which was started three years ago by the Gazelle Group, typically picks from the schools that don’t make either the NCAA or NIT tournaments.
The single-elimination tournament includes 16 teams and kicks off this Wednesday as Penn State will host Hampton in the first round. A victory would pit the Nittany Lions against Stony Brook or Siena on March 24. The other teams playing in this year’s CBI include Wyoming, Texas A&M, Morehead State, Illinois State, Radford, Oregon State, South Dakota State, Old Dominion, Fresno State, UTEP, Princeton, and Tulane.
The tournament concludes with a Championship Series round, featuring a best-of-three between the final two teams instead of the single elimination final in both the NCAA and NIT tourneys. According to the Gazelle Group, teams are invited to the tournament based on their “performance during their conference and non-conference schedules, as well as how well the team is playing at the end of the regular season.”
The Nittany Lions concluded a disappointing regular season with a loss to Minnesota one week ago before dropping another game to the Golden Gophers in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament. Penn State went 15-16 in the regular season with a 6-12 conference record, losing 10 games by five points or less in Tim Frazier’s final season in blue and white.
The CBI’s semifinals take place on March 26, followed soon after by the first game of the finals on March 31. The second game will be played on April 2, followed by a third and final championship game on April 4 if necessary. CBS Sports Network will be televising the later rounds of the tournament. Perhaps most importantly, it gives the team some extra practice time to build for next season.