They might not get the same publicity as their counterparts competing in the NCAA tournament, but schools still have pride and a tournament title to play for in the College Basketball Invitational.
Comprised of 16 teams invited after the NCAA and NIT fields were set, the CBI is now in its seventh season as a postseason tournament. Following Siena's 66-55 victory over Stony Brook on Tuesday, the proper action got underway on Wednesday with seven more contests.
The quarterfinals are set to take place on Monday and you can see the full tournament schedule at GazelleGroup.com. Here's a look at the day's results, while you can also visit ESPN.com for an updated bracket.
|CBI First Round Results|
|Illinois State||77-67||Morehead State|
|Old Dominion||72-65||South Dakota State|
|Mon., 3/24||7 p.m.||Penn State||Siena||CBS SN|
|Mon., 3/24||7 p.m.||Radford||Old Dominion||N/A|
|Mon., 3/24||9 p.m.||Texas A&M||Illinois State||CBS SN|
|Mon., 3/24||10 p.m.||Princeton||Fresno State||N/A|
Texas A&M 59, Wyoming 43
The Texas A&M Aggies (18-15) opened the CBI with a convincing 59-43 win over Wyoming (18-15) at home on Wednesday night, powered by strong efforts from its tandem of Kourtney Roberson and Antwan Space.
Both forwards recorded double-doubles, as Roberson scored 14 points and had 10 rebounds while Space had 11 points and 11 boards. Guard Alex Caruso also added six points and dished out 10 assists in a game that was all but over by halftime.
Texas A&M's Twitter created an infographic on the team's success across the board:
The Aggies defense was stingy in the first half, allowing them to take a 32-16 lead into the locker room at intermission. From there, Texas A&M cruised, setting itself up with a second-round matchup with Illinois State.
Illinois State 77, Morehead State 67
Propelled by a well-balanced scoring effort from its starting five, Illinois State (17-15) defended its home court with a 77-67 victory over Morehead State (20-14) on Wednesday.
Daishon Knight (18), Bobby Hunter (16), Nick Zeisloft (13) and Reggie Lynch (12) all notched double-digit points on the evening, in a game that turned into a shootout in the second half. Even though the eight-point lead was clipped to three, Illinois State outscored Morehead State 44-42 after halftime to preserve the win.
“I’m very excited how my team played,” ISU coach Dan Muller told Randy Kindred of the Bloomington Pantagraph. “I thought we played with great energy and passion. Defensively we were terrific and I thought we fought extremely hard on the boards. That was a good win against a very good team.”
Radford 96, Oregon State 92
There was a good old-fashioned shootout on Wednesday night in Corvallis, Ore., where the Radford Highlanders (22-12) edged out the Oregon State Beavers, 96-92. Up next, Radford will have to travel east for Monday's matchup at Old Dominion.
Both teams had a trio of a 20-point scorers, but Radford made just enough free throws down the stretch to secure the first-round victory. It was a disappointing early exit for a Pac-12 team like OSU (16-16), which received a game-high 26 points from Roberto Nelson, while Hallice Cooke and Eric Moreland added 23 apiece.
But Radford was too deadly from beyond the arc, going 13-of-24 as a team. Ya Ya Anderson hit seven three-pointers as part of his 23-point night, while R.J. Price added four more in his 20-point effort, with forward Javonte Green also recording 20 points.
Old Dominion 72, South Dakota State 65
Despite a suspect second half, Old Dominion (17-17) earned a 72-65 victory against visiting South Dakota State (19-13) on Wednesday evening.
The Monarchs staked themselves a big 48-33 lead at intermission, and it was a good thing, because SDSU came back strong in the second half.
"We had a little bit of a Jekyll-and-Hyde thing going on out there tonight," ODU coach Jeff Jones said, via Dave Fairbank of the Hampton Roads Daily Press. "We came out of the gates really quickly and probably played about as well as we've played all year. I did think going into halftime that, even though we had a 15-point lead, I thought it should have been more."
Old Dominion got a big night from sixth man Ambrose Mosley (16 points, six rebounds), while Dimitri Batten scored a team-high 18 points. Aaron Bacote had 10 points, five boards and five assists, and Richard Ross had 12 points.
Fresno State 61, UTEP 56
Paul Watson played a starring role in the final stages of Fresno State's tense 61-56 road win at UTEP (23-11) on Wednesday night.
The Bulldogs (18-16) called a timeout with less than a minute left in the contest, setting up Watson's big three-pointer with 27 seconds left that gave FSU a 57-53 lead. With less than 10 seconds remaining, Watson then blocked a C.J. Cooper layup, setting up the Bulldogs for a game-sealing fast-break layup on the other end of the floor.
It was a strong finish for Watson in a game when he otherwise struggled, as he finished 3-of-13 from the field and 1-of-7 from distance, for nine points. FSU guard Cezar Guerrero recorded a game-high 19 points and 10 rebounds, while Marvelle Harris added 14 more for the Bulldogs.
Princeton 56, Tulane 55
In the closest CBI contest so far, Princeton (21-8) withstood a second-half comeback by Tulane to claim a 56-55 road victory on Wednesday night.
Tulane fans can only wonder what the outcome would have been if leading scorer Lou Dabney (back) was able to play. The Green Wave (17-17) fell short despite claims that Dabney was "100 percent" earlier this week, as detailed by Tammy Nunez of the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
"He never really got to practice this week," coach Ed Conroy told reporters after the game, via Nunez. "Every day we thought he was going to be ready to go. He's as tough as they come, so if Lou can't go then he's hurting. It's just one of those things where the muscles just didn't respond as quickly as we hoped they would."
The final margin made the game closer than it appeared, as Princeton held a 56-49 lead with 31.7 seconds to go before Jonathan Stark hit a couple of futile three-pointers in the late stages, including one at the buzzer.
Hans Brase scored 16 points to pace Princeton, while T.J. Bray (12) and Clay Wilson (11) also scored in double digits.
Penn State 69, Hampton 65
On a night when both teams struggled offensively, Penn State emerged victorious in a battle of attrition with a 69-65 victory over Hampton at home on Wednesday evening.
Wynton Jake Somerville of The Daily Collegian painted a picture of the second-half scene at Penn State:
With bench players prominently featured in the lineup, Hampton made a run to start the second half to come back from an eight-point halftime deficit. Turnovers and foul trouble stalled the Lions’ productivity. A slam by Breon Key at the 11:17 mark gave Hampton its first and only lead of the game.
With Hampton’s momentum building, Chambers sent Newbill into the game who helped to spark a 14-2 run. The redshirt junior capped off the run with an electrifying fastbreak dunk that gave Penn State a 55-45 lead. The Lions stayed ahead the rest of the way.
The Nittany Lions shot just 40.5 percent from the floor as a team, but Hampton (41.3 percent) had big-time struggles of its own. D.J. Newbill scored 19 points to lead Penn State, which also received 14 points from Brandon Taylor, 10 points from Tim Frazier and 10 more from Geno Thorpe.
Now Penn State is slated to travel to Albany, N.Y., to face Siena, which won in the tournament opener on Tuesday.