CBI championship format intriguing to Cowboys

One thing you can say about the College Basketball Invitational — its not afraid to be different.

As Wyoming and Coastal Carolina get ready to play Monday for the CBI championship, it’s not a one-game format. When the CBI was created 10 years ago it went with a best-of-3 series for the championship.

Allen Edwards

UW (21-14) plays at Coastal Carolina (19-17), located in Conway, S.C., at 5:30 p.m. MT. Game two is in Laramie at 7 p.m. MT Wednesday. If a third game is necessary, UW hosts that one as well at 5 p.m. MT. All games are televised on ESPNU. If you’re wondering why a potential third game is at such an odd time, don’t blame UW, it has to do with TV.

As for the best-of-3 format, first-year UW coach Allen Edwards said: “We’ll try it out. It’s differnet when you think about what is traditionally done in college basketball. It has more of a NBA feel. I’m interested to be a part of it and see.”

The NBA now uses best-of-7 series’ for all of its playoff games. There used to be best-of-5 for early round playoff matchups. The travel between Laramie and Conway is 1,810 miles and that will make things interesting for that second game in Laramie Wednesday — not just how both teams adjust from the first game, but also fatigue from travel, etc.

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Many college bowls and smaller postseason hoops tournaments – what’s the difference?

Answer this question for me: Why is the perception or vibe of the College Basketball Invitational (CBI) generally negative among most fans, yet in college football most teams are celebrated when they get bowl bids to such games as the — and I’m just throwing out a few names here — the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, Belk Bowl and Dollar General Bowl?

Not including the College Football Playoff semifinals and championship game, there were 38 bowl games for the 2016 seasons. That’s 76 teams out of close to 130 in the Football Bowl Subdivision. A good number of .500 teams, and even below .500 teams, have gone to bowl games in recent years to fill those slots.

Throw in the CFP teams, and about 61 percent of FBS teams play in postseason bowls in 2016, and over the last five years or so.

There are 351 Division I college basketball teams. This year, 132 made one of four postseason tournaments, which equates to 37.6 percent.

Tournaments like the CBI and CIT don’t hold the same prominence or clout as the NCAA Tournament or the NIT, and probably never will. But most college bowl games don’t hold the interest level compared to the CFP games or the bigger bowls such as the Rose Bowl.

But when you break it down, what is the difference between going to a lesser-than bowl in football and playing in a postseason basketball tournament like the CBI?

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UW-Texas A&M men’s hoops Q&A

WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi did a question-and-answer session with Richard Croome, who covers Texas A&M men’s basketball for the Bryan-College Station Eagle, about Wednesday’s CBI first-round game with the University of Wyoming at 6 p.m. at Reed Arena in College Station, Texas.

Follow on Twitter: @rwcroome

Is there a sense of excitement or apathy about the Aggies being in the CBI and Wednesday’s game with Wyoming?

From the fans it’s more apathy. Even though the Aggies improved this season many believe A&M should be a player nearly all the time. The six year run of success prior to this spoiled many people, especially those that became A&M fans during that time. Since that time period was the beginning of the social media era those are the ones heard from the most.

What are the strengths and weaknesses of Texas A&M?

A&M plays good team defense and uses the clock offensively to help with number of possessions. Because of an injury and two guys leaving the team (one school suspension and the other a coach thing) A&M has no depth. They play six guys and are really thin along the front line. Jamal Jones is a good shooter and Alex Caruso, although not the prototypical point guard, is a great passer and one of the more intelligent players around.

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VIDEO: Derrious Gilmore, Leonard Washington, Larry Nance Jr.

From left to right, Wyoming men’s basketball players Derrious Gilmore, Leonard Washington and Larry Nance Jr. talk about the Cowboys’ 75-67 overtime loss to Western Michigan in the quarterfinals of the College Basketball Invitational on Monday, March 26, 2013.

VIDEO: Washington-to-Adams for Wyoming

Wyoming senior forward Leonard Washington throws a pass to true freshman guard Josh Adams late in regulation against Western Michigan in the quarterfinals of the College Basketball Invitational on Monday, Marchh 25, 2013. Adams was fouled and made 1 of 2 free throws for a three-point UW lead. Western Michigan forced overtime and won 75-67.

Ewing back in Laramie with NBA as top goal

Former Wyoming men’s basketball guard Brandon Ewing (2006-09) was shooting some jump shots with current UW player Charles Hankerson Jr. prior to the Cowboys’ quarterfinals game of the CBI with Western Michigan Monday at the Arena-Auditorium.

Here is the video link: http://youtu.be/6nQ_Ty97CqE

Ewing is UW’s record-holder in career 3-pointers made (193) and 3-point attempts (594). He also is second in in scoring (2,168 points) and assists (471). Ewing just completed his fourth season on professional basketball. He was overseas in Switzerland and Greece.

Ewing said he moved back to Laramie recently to get his body healthy and train in Laramie’s 7,220-foot altitude for a shot to land with an NBA team next season.

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UW-Western Michigan Q&A swap

WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi did a question-and-answer swap with Scott DeCamp, who covers Western Michigan men’s basketball for the Kalamaoo (Mich.) Gazette.

Wyoming (20-13) hosts Western Michigan (21-12) in the quarterfinals of the College Basketball Invitational at 7 tonight at the Arena-Auditorium in Laramie.

Question: Was Western Michigan disappointed it didn’t get into the NIT, and in your opinion, has the team bought in to playing in the CBI?

Answer: I think it was understood that WMU was probably not going to be considered for the NIT. The Mid-American Conference is generally a one-bid league (for the NCAA Tournament), and that typically means the winner of the MAC Tournament gets the bid and loser goes to the NIT. Akron won the MAC tourney and received the NCAA automatic bid, Ohio lost in the MAC tourney finals and went to the NIT. WMU lost to Ohio in the MAC tourney semifinals, which essentially locked the Broncos into the CBI. I think WMU is excited about playing in the CBI. This is a young team with eight freshmen. Many people, before the season, expected the Broncos to finish in the .500 or sub-.500 range, so they’ve overachieved in some ways.

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UW-Lehigh postgame thoughts

Big Shot Sobey.

That is the new nickname for Wyoming junior guard Nathan Sobey after he hit the game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Cowboys a 67-66 win over Lehigh Tuesday night in a first-round CBI game in Laramie.

But let’s not forget two other players that were key in making that play happen.

After Lehigh took a 66-64 lead in the final seconds, and with no timeouts, sophomore forward Larry Nance Jr. got the ball into play quickly to true freshman guard Josh Adams. Then, Adams used his speed to get the ball up the floor quickly, and found Sobey open in the corner.

If Nance or Adams falter even the slightest, UW loses.

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