CBI 2019: Tournament Bracket, Schedule, Format and Teams to Watch

Jake RillCorrespondent IMarch 18, 2019

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - MARCH 14:  Lamont West #15 of the West Virginia Mountaineers celebrates with teammates after the Mountaineers defeated the Texas Tech Red Raiders to win their quarterfinal game of the Big 12 Basketball Tournament at Sprint Center on March 14, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

For many years, the only postseason college basketball tournaments were the NCAA tournament and the National Invitation Tournament. That's not the case anymore.

In 2008, the College Basketball Invitational was created, giving even more teams the opportunity to play extra games if it doesn't make either the NCAA tourney or the NIT.

The CBI is a 16-team tournament, with schools paying a $50,000 entry fee for its team to participate.

CBI games are played at the campuses of participating schools. It's a single-elimination tournament until the finals, which is played in a best-of-three format.

Like the NCAA tournament and the NIT, the CBI begins this week with first-round matchups being played on Tuesday and Wednesday.


2019 CBI Schedule

View the full bracket here. All times ET.

First Round

Tuesday, March 19

CSU Northridge at Utah Valley, 9 p.m.


Wednesday, March 20

Grand Canyon at West Virginia, 7 p.m.

Howard at Coastal Carolina, 7 p.m.

Stony Brook at South Florida, 7 p.m.

Southern Miss at Longwood, 7 p.m.

UAB at Brown, 7 p.m.

Central Michigan at DePaul, 8 p.m.

Loyola Marymount at California Baptist, 10 p.m.



March 25 at campus sites



March 27-28 at campus sites



April 1, 3 and 5 (if necessary) in a best-of-three series at campus site



NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MARCH 13:  Eli Cain #11 of the DePaul Blue Demons attempts a lay up past Mustapha Heron #14 of the St. John's Red Storm during the first round of the 2019 Big East men's basketball tournament at Madison Square Garden on March 13, 2019
Steven Ryan/Getty Images

There hadn't been a team from a Power Five conference or the Big East in the CBI since 2015. This year, there are two.

West Virginia (Big 12) and DePaul (Big East) are both in this year's CBI. Another strong team in this year's tournament is South Florida (AAC). Those three schools are certainly the ones to watch in this year's tourney, and each one is at the top of its respective region.

The Mountaineers had a down season, going 12-19 during the regular season and 4-14 in Big 12 play. However, they built some momentum during the Big 12 conference tournament, notching victories over Oklahoma and Texas Tech before losing to Kansas in the semifinals.

"I think everybody is excited, because no one wanted this season to end," West Virginia guard Jermaine Haley said of playing in the CBI, according to The Dominion Post's Justin Jackson. "We're going to get ready ... and go and win that tournament."

DePaul went 15-14 during the regular season (7-11 in Big East play) before losing to St. John's in the first round of the Big East tournament. However, the Blue Demons had two previous wins over St. John's, as well as a victory over Georgetown in their penultimate game of the regular season.

This is the first time that DePaul is playing in a postseason tournament since 2007.

South Florida has struggled of late, losing six of their last eight games in the regular season before falling to UConn in the first round of the AAC tournament. However, the Bulls have a chance to finish their year on a better note in the CBI.

Of course, there is also the possibility for upsets during the CBI. And it could mean a lot for some of the lesser-known teams to end its year by knocking off a school such as West Virginia, DePaul or South Florida.