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What is the College Basketball Invitational???

If your favorite team does not make the NCAA Tournament this year it has more options than ever before to still play in the post-season. The College Basketball Invitational is in its inaugural season and is a new post-season tournament which will compete with the NIT. There will be 16 teams in the tournament which will be invited based upon their performance during their conference and non-conference schedule, as well as how well the team is playing at the end of the regular season. The College Basketball Invitational is put on by The Gazelle Group which produces the 2K Sports College Hoops Classic benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer, the O’Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic and the Legends Classic. The tournament expands the number of Division I teams which will play in a post season tournament from 97 in 2007 to 113 teams this year. Tournament play will start March 18, 2008. The tournament will invite all of the teams based on there own criteria and will do all of its own seeding and bracketing into four geographic brackets. The tournament does not have a rule that teams need above a .500 record during the regular season however they do not anticipate teams without a .500 record making the event.

Opinions on the new touranment are mixed, Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference commissioner Rich Ensor says, "We think this is a promising turn of events given the contraction of the NIT a year ago and the impact that had on mid-major selections," "We'll be supportive of the development of other options for postseason play." Big East commissioner Michael Tranghese said his schools "are free to go and play in any event. I just don't know if there's a market for a third tournament, but this is the land of opportunity." "We would never tell our schools what to do or not to do in a situation like this," Tranghese said Wednesday. "Since this group produces some early-season events I could see that having something to do with certain decisions." The tournament has received a negative review from Missouri athletic director Mike Alden who has rejected what might be the basketball team's best hope for a postseason bid when he rejected the idea that Missouri would play in the tournament. Among his objections to playing in the tournament is that teams are being asked for a guarantee of $60,000 paid to The Gazelle Group .

This is not the first time there has been a third post-season tournament at the Division I level, a tournament sponsored by the Collegiate Commissioners Association, was held in 1974 and won by Indiana.
Do people think that Division I needs another post-season tournament? Would you watch your team play in the College Basketball Invitational? What should the nickname of the College Basketball Invitational be? Vote in the poll for if there should be another post-season tournament.

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