Drake Men Earn Top Seed In The College Basketball Invitational (CBI)

Written By Russ Mitchell on March 14, 2022 - Last Updated on March 15, 2022
CBI Venue

The NIT Selection Committee snubbed Drake on Sunday night, but their season isn’t over. The College Basketball Invitational (CBI) awarded the Bulldogs its top seed at the spring-break-friendly tournament.

The Bulldogs open against Purdue Fort Wayne at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 19.

The 21-11 Mastodons are making their sixth postseason appearance counting an NIT bid and four CIT (now The Basketball Classic) berths in program history.

The regular-season co-champions reached with semifinals of the Horizon League Tournament after a 78-72 win over UIC. Northern Kentucky ended PFW’s NCAA hopes with a 57-43 semifinal win, however.

Drake fell just short of the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament championship with a 64-58 loss to Loyola-Chicago in the title game.

This will be a return to Florida for the Bulldogs. They played in the ESPN Events Invitational, which was held in Orlando over the long Thanksgiving weekend.

Drake has 13 postseason appearances including five NCAA berths, three NIT bids, three CIT berths and a 1975 bid in the now-defunct National Commissioners Invitational Tournament.

The Drake-Purdue Fort Wayne winner will face Virginia Military Institute (VMI) or UNC-Wilmington for a noon Monday, March 21, quarterfinal.

About the College Basketball Invitational (CBI)

The CBI debuted in 2008 and will mark its 14th edition in 2022. For much of its history, the tournament unfolded at campus sites and ended with a distinct best-of-three series to decide its champion.

Pandemic health and safety concerns canceled the CBI in 2000. Organizers opted for a safer, single-location tournament in 2021.

As it turns out, tournament organizers like what they saw. The fully-bracketed 16-team tournament returns to the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach, FL, for all games March 19-23. Here’s a look at the pairings listed in bracket order:

First Round — Top Half

  • 11 a.m. Saturday — (1) Drake (24-10) vs. (16) Purdue Fort Wayne (21-11)
  • 11 a.m. Sunday — (8) VMI (16-15) vs. (9) UNC-Wilmington (23-9)
    • Quarterfinal at noon Monday, March 21
  • 1:30 p.m. Saturday — (4) Stephen F. Austin (22-9) vs. (13) UNC-Asheville (16-14)
  • 1:30 p.m. Sunday — (5) Florida Atlantic (19-14) vs. (12) Northern Colorado (20-15)
    • Quarterfinal at 2:30 p.m. Monday, March 21

First Round — Bottom Half

  • 4 p.m. Saturday — (2) Middle Tennessee (23-10) vs. (15) California Baptist (18-15)
  • 4 p.m. Sunday — (7) UNC-Greensboro (17-14) vs. (10) Boston University (21-12)
    • Quarterfinal at 5 p.m. Monday, March 21
  • 6:30 p.m. Saturday — (3) Ohio (24-9) vs. (14) Rice (16-16)
  • 6:30 p.m. Sunday — (6) Abilene Christian (23-10) vs. Troy (20-11)
    • Quarterfinal at 7:30 p.m. Monday, March 21

The Iowa men and Iowa State men received March Madness berths Sunday night. Northern Iowa is going to the NIT.

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How to watch Drake in the CBI

Flo Sports will stream the first three days of the CBI.

ESPN2 will carry the CBI’s semifinals at 6 p.m. (top half) and about 8:30 p.m. (bottom half) Tuesday, March 22.

The championship game is 4 p.m. Wednesday, March 23, also on ESPN2.

What about The Basketball Classic?

Teams that miss the NCAA Tournament and NIT have another option. The Basketball Classic presented by Erasism is a 32-team, on-campus tournament that begins Monday, March 14, and ends with a championship on Thursday, March 31.

It replaces the collegeinsider.com Tournament (CIT), a tournament that debuted in 2009 and didn’t return after the sports shutdown of 2020.

Organizers behind the CIT operate The Basketball Classic as well.

Drake opted for the more condensed single-site CBI instead.

Photo by Felix Mizioznikov / Shutterstock
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Russ Mitchell

Russ Mitchell has been covering news and sports in northwest Iowa since 1997, including 11 years as managing editor for one of the most acclaimed community newspapers in the state. He looks forward to keeping readers up to date on the growing sportsbook industry in Iowa.

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