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CBI Tournament cancelled due to coronavirus; Nevada’s postseason chances loom

NCAA Basketball: San Diego State at Nevada David Calvert-USA TODAY Sports

Nevada’s postseason chances loom after the College Basketball Invitational (CBI) tournament was cancelled Wednesday due to the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

“Due to the uncertainty about the coronavirus and the impact it is having on college campuses around the country, we have decided to cancel the 2020 College Basketball Invitational,” the Gazelle Group, who runs the tournament, announced in a news release.

“As colleges and universities are making difficult and complex health and risk management decisions about the conducting sporting events, it became apparent to us that his was the most prudent course of action. We look forward to bringing the CBI back in March of 2021.”

The 16-team tournament is arguably the third biggest postseason college basketball tournament, behind the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) and, of course, the NCAA Tournament.

The CBI was arguably Nevada’s most likely postseason tournament destination. The Wolf Pack were already looking at an outside chance of making the NIT. But due to Nevada’s 74-71 loss versus Wyoming in the quarterfinals of the Mountain West Tournament, those chances decreased. Nevada was given a 0.0 percent chance of making the NIT, per The Barking Crow. The Wolf Pack previously put in bids to host both the NIT and CBI tournaments.

The final postseason option is the CollegeInsider Invitational (CIT), a 20-team tournament. The Wolf Pack have never played in the CIT Tournament before, but with this cancellation of the CBI, the pool for teams could be crowded.

The CIT, formed in 2009, has been accustomed to expansion from its typical 20-team format. In 2016, 2017 and 2019, the bracket featured 26 teams. In 2012, it expanded to 32 teams. The bracket could undergo an even larger expansion for teams, like Nevada, who were likely to get bids for the CBI that did not for the NIT and the NCAA Tournaments.

It is a development to keep an eye on as Selection Sunday approaches. Both the NIT and CIT are scheduled to start its tournaments next week.