Wednesday, March 13, 2024

The CIT Is Back!

An eagle-eyed Twitter account pointed out today that the website says that the Postseason Tournament is set to return for 2024!

The 16 participating teams will be announced on Selection Sunday, according to the site. There will be four pods at a host school with four teams each. Then the semis and finals will be played on campus sites.

This means 16 extra postseason spots for mid-and-low-major teams, which is great given the changes to the NIT selection process this season that are especially hurting the postseason chances of low-major teams.

The CIT hasn’t been played since prior to the pandemic. Marshall defeated Green Bay in the 2020 championship game. There was an attempt to revive the tournament under The Basketball Classic moniker, but it never got off the ground.

I have fond personal memories of the CIT thanks to Columbia’s 2016 run to the tournament title. Here was some of the NYC Buckets coverage from back then:

Appreciate Columbia While They’re Still Here

The Scene As Columbia Is The CIT Champion

Columbia Rolls Into CIT Finals Carrying Ivy League Flag

Columbia Setting Records As It Advances In The CIT

The Lions defeated UC Irvine for the title that season. Their head coach: Kyle Smith. I wonder what ever happened to that guy?

Another NYC-area team, Saint Peter’s, then took home the 2017 title. John Dunne was still the Peacocks head coach back then, which gives you a sense of the timeline.

It’ll be great for postseason basketball to be played on mid-major campuses this March. It also seems like the proposed pod format, along with a 1-16 seed ranking will alleviate some of the planning and logistics concerns that came with previous iterations of the tournament.

It’ll be interesting to see which teams decide to head to Daytona and play in the 16-team CBI and which stay on campus for the CIT. Both though are welcome elements of a college basketball postseason landscape.

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