WVU To Host Grand Canyon In CBI First Round
On Sunday evening, West Virginia became the first member of a Power Five Conference or the Big East to accept a bid to the College Basketball Invitational in the last four years. The Mountaineers will host Grand Canyon on Wednesday, March 20 at the WVU Coliseum at 7 p.m. The last such team to play in the event was Colorado in 2015.
Grand Canyon, a member of the Western Athletic Conference (WAC), has a 20-13 record after falling in the WAC Championship on Saturday as the No. 3 seed to No. 1 New Mexico State. The Antelopes are coached by former NBA standout Dan Majerle.
The first round contest will no appear on any broadcast outlet. WVU will provide an Internet live stream via its website, as well as radio coverage.
Prior to that, upper tier schools had a bigger presence in the 16-team tournament, which features a best-of-three championship round. Texas A&M , Oregon State (a four-time participant) and Penn State were in the 2014 bracket, following Purdue and Texas in 2013. Four such teams, including TCU, Washington State, Pitt and the Beavers, headlined the 2012 event. In all, 17 teams from the top six basketball conferences have participated in the 11-year history of the CBI. Texas and TCU are the only current Big 12 teams to play in the CBI, although the Horned Frogs were still four months short of their induction date to the league when they played in the event. Pitt, Oregon and Oregon State have won CBI titles.
A number of other mid-majors and notable programs have played in the event, including Wyoming, Cincinnati, Nevada, George Washington, Montana, George Mason, UTEP, Tulane, Ohio and Vermont.
So long as it stays alive in the tournament, West Virginia will host in every round, other than the initial contest of the best-of-three championship series. Potentially, the Mountaineers could see five games at the WVU Coliseum.
To participate in the event, West Virginia will pay $40,000 for the first round game and the quarterfinal game. After that, the CBI keeps all ticket revenue, with the home team retaining any other revenues, such as those generated from parking and concession sales. Part of the buy-in money goes to help cover travel expenses for the road team.
General admission tickets are now on sale for $10 each by visiting wvugame.com. Fans are encouraged to select the Print-At-Home or Mobile Delivery option. All 100 level sections of the WVU Coliseum will be considered general admission for Wednesday’s game. The upper level will not be opened until the lower level sections are filled. WVU students will be admitted free with a valid student ID at the Mountaineer Gate. Students should use the normal lower level student sections. Parking will be free.
The four teams who win their first two games will be reseeded to make up the semifinal matchups.