Category Archives: Tournaments

Book Your Flights: Notre Dame Kicks Off The Maui Invitational Against Division II Chaminade

The 2017 Maui Invitational will run from November 20th-22nd, 2017. (Photo by

The 2017 Maui Invitational Bracket has been set, and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, along with other powerhouse programs like the Wichita State Shockers, the Michigan Wolverines and the California Bears will headline the tournament set to commence on November 20th 2017.

Notre Dame’s first game in Maui will be against the host Chaminade Silverswords, with a matchup with either the LSU Tigers or Michigan to follow, depending on a first round win or loss.

While Notre Dame, Chaminade, LSU and Michigan take up the bottom half of the bracket, the top half will consist of the Marquette Golden Eagles, Virginia Commonwealth Rams, California and Wichita State. Continue reading Book Your Flights: Notre Dame Kicks Off The Maui Invitational Against Division II Chaminade

Coastal Carolina, Wyoming set to do battle in best-of-three series for the CBI crown

Sophomore Justin James is looking to continue his strong play as of late and lead Wyoming to the 2017 CBI title.
CALGARY, Alta. — March Madness is in full swing, and it’s lived up to the hype so far.

Several ‘streaks’ are in jeopardy, like whether or not a Hall of Fame coach will make an appearance in the Final Four. Then, we have the top-seeded Gonzaga Bulldogs, who are looking to snap their own personal drought and make a Final Four appearance for the first time ever.

Following their win over the West Virginia Mountaineers in the Sweet 16, the Bulldogs are now knocking on the door of the Final Four in Houston.

While most people tend to focus solely on the NCAA Tournament, there are two teams who are looking to put an end to their championship droughts in Division I basketball.

On one side, you have a team looking to give the Mountain West Conference back-to-back winners in the College Basketball Invitational (CBI) Tournament, and their first tournament title since 1943.

On the flip side, you have a team who is looking for their first-ever post-season tournament title in men’s basketball.

Starting Monday in Conway, SC, there’s a lot on the line for both the Wyoming Cowboys and the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers, who square off against one another in a best-of-three series to determine the 2017 CBI champions.

Here’s a look at how both teams got to where they are, and what they need to do to bring home some hardware. Continue reading Coastal Carolina, Wyoming set to do battle in best-of-three series for the CBI crown

Wesner: Xavier OWNS Orlando

Photo courtesy of AP.

ORLANDO, Fla. — Orlando, Florida: known for Mickey Mouse, Universal Studios and Xavier basketball?

Orlando is more than a vacation spot for the Musketeers. It’s a place of great memories and dominant victories.  

Since November 2015, the #11 Xavier Musketeers are 8-0 with two early season tournament championships and a clinched trip to the Sweet Sixteen. In the history of neutral site games in Orange County (Florida), the program is 11-2 — good for the most wins by any Division I program.

Yet, when Xavier wins, they win BIG.

In the eleven victories, the Big East representative from Cincinnati, Ohio, triumphs by an average margin of 13.4 points. Moreover, they leave NO doubt in championship games or contests that have a trip to the Sweet Sixteen on the line. Xavier’s smallest margin of victory is 8 points with such a stratification.

Photo courtesy of CBS Sports.

Xavier junior Trevon Bluiett, who scored 29 points this evening versus #3 Florida State, loves playing in “City Beautiful.” The 6’6″ Indianapolis, Indiana, product has found a second home in Orlando and is averaging 18.5 points per game dating back to the 2015 Advocare Invitational. 

Whether the weather, amusement parks or meeting Mickey Mouse inspires Xavier is unknown. Nevertheless, there is no question Orlando is a place that holds great significance to the current group of Musketeers.

With tonight’s win, Xavier has advanced to their eighth Sweet Sixteen. They will play the winner of #2 Arizona and #7 St. Mary’s in San Jose, California, on March 23. 

— P. Wesner

Photo created by Peyton Wesner.

RECAP: Hawkins, Lee fly #1 Illinois State past #8 UC Irvine, setting up match-up with #4 UCF

Photo courtesy of Peyton Wesner.

NORMAL, Ill. — Postseason basketball; a new season for all.

Although it was not in the tournament they desired, Illinois State clubbed pesky UC Irvine in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament, 85-71.

Seniors Deontae Hawkins and Paris Lee, in a showing that featured the Redbirds shooting 52% from beyond the arc, scored 22 and 13 points respectively to advance the active home winning streak to 22 games.

“Some guys were like, ‘Man, I’m grateful we’re here but this is not the NCAA Tournament,'” said Lee of the group’s mentality after Selection Sunday. “Once we got settled in practice, everyone was like, ‘We might as well win it while we’re doing it.'” Continue reading RECAP: Hawkins, Lee fly #1 Illinois State past #8 UC Irvine, setting up match-up with #4 UCF

Home court advantage paying off early in the 2017 CIT

Chris Clemons continued his strong play since the regular season ended, scoring 39 points in Campbell’s 98-79 win over Houston Baptist in the First Round of the 2017 CIT on Tuesday. (Source: American Sports Network) (Header; Saint Francis (PA) Basketball)

CALGARY, Alta. — Home court, or home field, advantage in the post-season is a huge advantage in any sport.

Whether it’s hockey, baseball, basketball, or football, among others, playing at home in the playoffs is much easier than having to win on the road in front of a slew of opposing fans.

Through four games of the 2017 Tournament (CIT, that has become very clear.

After Tuesday’s contests, home teams are a combined 3-1 so far in the first round. Two of the three wins came by sizable margins (nine and 19 points), while the one loss by a home team was decided by just two points.

While this trend bodes well for the rest of the home teams in the remaining games in the opening round, the luck hasn’t always been on the side of the hosts. Continue reading Home court advantage paying off early in the 2017 CIT

2017 CIT opens up with the second annual John McLendon Classic

On Monday night, Ryan Kemrite and the Liberty Flames will go for their 20th win of the year when they host Norfolk State in the second annual John McLendon Classic to open the 2017 CIT. (Source: Liberty University)

LYNCHBURG, Va. — Post-season basketball is back!

On Sunday night, the fields were released for the four post-season tournaments that will take place over the next four weeks. The 68 teams who are participating in the NCAA Tournament were released first, followed by the fields for the NIT, CIT, and CBI.

It’s worth noting that the Vegas Sixteen event that was introduced last season will not be played this season, but the founders are hopeful that it can return next year.

Arguably our favourite tournament, from a sheer team standpoint, is the Tournament. The field is composed of ‘mid-major’ programs who are deserving of a post-season berth, and it uses the old NIT format, where there is no set bracket.

The CIT has several marquee games in the first round which pay homage to past coaches in college basketball. They have added several ‘classics’ to this year’s slate, which adds more appeal to the event.

The second annual John McLendon Classic will be played on Monday night, which opens up post-season play across the country. The Liberty Flames will play host to the Norfolk State Spartans, in what is a great way to kick off an exciting three-week stretch of post-season basketball. Continue reading 2017 CIT opens up with the second annual John McLendon Classic