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.
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.
Tonight’s College Basketball Tournament appearance is Wyoming’s 25th in its 108-year history — which is about once every 4.3 years.
UW has been to the NCAA Tournament 14 times (9-19 record), NIT eight times (7-8) and CBI three times (1-2).
The Cowboys are seeking back-to-back 20 win seasons for the first time in a decade, and this is their first time they have been to the postseason in consecutive seasons over that same time frame.
WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi did a question-and-answer session with Tom Housenick, who covers Lehigh men’s basketball for The Morning Call newspaper in Allentown, Pa.
Wyoming (19-13) hosts Lehigh (21-9) in the first round of the College Basketball Invitational at 7 tonight in Laramie.
Question: Do you think Lehigh is excited to play in the CBI, or was there a big letdown that the team didn’t get into the NIT or not make the NCAA Tournament?
Answer: If Lehigh had to make a decision about going to the CBI right after losing to rival Lafayette for a third time this season, it certainly would have passed. They sat on it at their respective homes on spring break for a few days and seem to be rejuvenated. How they feel, ultimately, will come out when the Mountain Hawks fall behind Tuesday night two time zones from home.