March Madness Basketball: CIT Preview, BU Postseason History

By: Chris Lynch

Thought that the BU Basketball season was over? Not quite yet.

Boston University was bounced from the first round of the Patriot League Tournament by American University back on March 3rd. That ended both their chances at a Patriot League championship and a bid for the NCAA tournament.

But that did not end their season.

This past Saturday, BU announced that they had accepted an invitation to play in the College Tournament, a postseason basketball tournament that has been run since 2009. It is oriented for mid-major schools that were not invited to either the NCAA tournament or to the NIT.

The tournament expanded to its current 32 team field in 2012, and has seen excellent competition since its inception. Current NBA players Hassan Whiteside and Damian Lillard both played in the CIT with Marshall and Weber State respectively.

This year is also the first year of the John McLendon Classic. This is a game that will feature at least one Historically Black College or University in a tribute to one of the great coaches and most important innovators in the sport of basketball.

It was also given the tagline of “This game is no secret”. That line refers to the “Secret Game” played between Duke and North Carolina College for Negroes, now North Carolina Central University, which was the first ever collegiate game played with both white and black players on the court.

The CIT has the makings of a very good tournament historically, and can give BU a good opportunity to face good postseason competition. It is something that the program needs.

The deepest BU has gone in a postseason tournament was in 1959, when they went to the Elite Eight round of the NCAA Tournament. They lost to Jerry West and the West Virginia Mountaineers 86-82 in that game, and have not won an NCAA tournament game since then.

BU is 0-6 in their trips to the NCAA Tournament since 1959, and 2-7 overall. BU has also gone to the NIT six times in their history and is 0-6 in their history in that tournament. The Terriers have been to the CIT once before in 2013 and lost their first round game to Loyola of Maryland.

The only tournament that has seen BU be successful was the 2010 College Basketball Invitational Tournament. They went to the semi-final round of that tournament, beating Oregon State and Morehead State in the process. They lost to eventual champion Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in the semi-final, but used that run as a building block for the program’s run to the American East championship the next season and the program’s most recent trip to the NCAA Tournament.

So how does the tournament work?

Well the first round matchups began on Monday and the rest will be played today and the last will be finished on Wednesday. Then the matchups will be redrawn and reworked for the second round.

There is no proper bracket for the tournament. Each round of the tournament is based off the results off the last round and of the records of the teams. It is a win and advance format not frequently seen in college basketball today.

All each team can focus on is the next game to play, because there is no good way to predict who the next opponent is going to be. For BU, that means their focus is strictly on the Fordham Rams for the Wednesday night tipoff in the Bronx. That preview will follow shortly.

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