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Archive for Thursday, November 15, 2007

Third March tourney set

CBI to compete with NIT for teams

November 15, 2007

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— There's going to be more March basketball.

The producer of some early season tournaments announced Wednesday it planned to start a 16-team postseason event that will augment the NCAA and NIT.

The College Basketball Invitational will be staged this March by The Gazelle Group, which is based in Princeton, N.J., and runs the 2K Sports College Hoop Classic that benefits Coaches vs. Cancer and the O'Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic.

The NCAA invites 65 teams to its tournament and the National Invitation Tournament, which started in 1938, a year before the NCAA, selects another 32. The NIT reduced its field last season from 40.

The NCAA has owned the NIT since 2005 as part of a settlement that ended a four-year legal fight between the parties.

The CBI intends to compete with the NIT for teams that did not make the NCAA's field of 65.

"It would be unfair for us to wait, so we're going to let the NCAA pick their field, and then we'll invite the 66th team. It wouldn't be fair not to," Gazelle Group president Rick Giles said Wednesday night.

Giles said there would not be a committee of outsiders picking the field.

"It will be us inviting the teams, and we'll do the bracketing and seeding," he said. "We will be 100 percent accountable. You might not agree with us, but we will be accountable"

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