The Nevada Wolf Pack will host the Montana Grizzlies in the first round of the 2016 College Basketball Invitational Tournament on Wednesday night. This will be Nevada's third appearance in the CBI Tournament and the Wolf Pack are 0-2 all-time in this tournament. This will be Nevada's 14th postseason appearance in school history and its first since appearing in the 2012 NIT Tournament.
In Eric Musselman's first year as head coach at Nevada, the Wolf Pack improved their record from 9-22 in 2014-15 to 19-13 in 2015-16. The Wolf Pack also won their first ever Mountain West Tournament game as they defeated the New Mexico Lobos in the quarterfinal round last Thursday. Nevada lost to San Diego State in the Mountain West Tournament semifinal round but accepted a bid to play in the CBI Tournament on Sunday night.
The CBI Tournament is a 16-team single elimination tournament that concludes with a best-of-three championship series that will be televised on ESPNU. The dates for the CBI Championship Series in on March 28th, March 30th and April 1st (if necessary). For a printable bracket for the tournament here is the link. Here are the teams that are participating in the 2016 CBI Tournament:
- Eastern Washington
- Houston Baptist
- Western Carolina
Nevada's first round opponent, the Montana Grizzlies, are from the Big Sky Conference and posted a 22-12 overall record (including a win over Boise State) and a 14-4 conference record. Montana advanced to the Big Sky Tournament Championship game before losing to Weber State 62-59. The Wolf Pack are 18-22 all-time against Montana and their last time these two schools met in the postseason, it was in the 2006 NCAA Tournament where the 12th seeded Grizzlies defeated the 5th seeded Wolf Pack 87-79. Both teams did play a home and home series in 2010-11 and 2011-12 and the Wolf Pack won both games.
The Grizzlies are led power forward Martin Breunig. The former University of Washington player is averaging 18.9 points and 9.1 rebounds a game for Montana. He also assisted by a pair of talented guards in Walter Wright and Michael Oguine. Both guards have the ability to score as Wright is averaging 13 points per game and Oguine is averaging 11 points per game.The Wolf Pack's defense is going to be tested against this talented scoring trio from Montana. The winner of this game will face the winner of the Eastern Washington/Pepperdine game on Wednesday night. A win for Nevada would give them their first 20-win season since 2011-12 season and would continue a magical first season for the Wolf Pack under Eric Musselman.
Tip-off is at 7pm at the Lawlor Events Center.