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CBI bracket 2017: 16-team tournament field announced

The other other tournament begins this week.

The 16-team field for the College Basketball Invitational came out Sunday night. The CBI, along with the CIT, makes up college basketball’s third tier of postseason tournaments: a consolation for teams that don’t make the NCAA Tournament’s consolation, the NIT.

The bracket:

The CBI is different than other tournaments, in that its final round is a best-of-three series. Everything else in the tournament is single-elimination, more in line with the conference and other postseason tournaments taking place around the country.

Broadly speaking, people do not care about the CBI, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be a fun event for the teams and fan bases involved. It’s played at campus sites, and for schools whose teams don’t ever make the Big Dance, it can be a significant experience.

There are a couple of semi-regular NCAA Tournament teams in the field — George Washington and George Mason. This is Mason’s sixth straight year not in the NCAA’s main event, however, and it’s the third straight year for GW. The Colonials won the NIT last year but fired their coach, Mike Lonergan, before this season.

The CBI’s first round is slated for Wednesday, though the tournament bracket says Tuesday’s also an option. The quarterfinals are March 20, the semifinals March 22, and the final starts five days later, on March 27. ESPNU carries the final, whether it lasts two games or three.