The CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament isn’t flashy, but if you’re hard up for college basketball in the run-up to NCAA and NIT action, it will get the job done. The fourth-tier postseason destination doesn’t feature a single major-conference participant this spring — 23-9 UNC-Asheville is the tourney’s headliner — and will scour leagues from the MAC to the MAAC to crown a champion.
Action on the ninth-annual tournament will tip off Monday when Norfolk State, one win from a trip to the Big Dance and a 16 seed, takes on Liberty in the Coach John McLendon Classic. From there, a dozen more games will unfold, including five unfortunate matchups that directly clash with the opening Thursday of the NCAA tournament and will quickly be forgotten.
That should serve as motivation for 2017-18 and beyond as these hopeful teams work to set the foundation for next season. A big run through the CIT could be the spark (and extra practice time) that keys a trip to college basketball’s promised land. It worked for Old Dominion, which won the inaugural CIT in 2009, then ran all the way to the second round of the NCAA tourney the following year.
There is no set bracket for the CIT, which uses a dynamic schedule to pair opponents based on matchups and availability. With a flexible broadcast schedule — everything up to the final four will be streamed through Facebook — the fate of the second-round games won’t be locked in until the first round comes to an end.
TV & online streaming
All games of the CIT will be streamed online via Facebook Live. The semifinals and championship game will be televised by CBS Sports Network.
Monday, March 13
Norfolk State at Liberty, 7:05 p.m. ET (Coach John McLendon Classic)
Tuesday, March 14
Saint Francis at Jacksonville, 7 p.m. (Hugh Durham Classic)
Houston Baptist at Campbell, 7 p.m.
Canisius at Samford, 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, March 15
Ball State at Fort Wayne, 7 p.m. (Lou Henson Classic)
Fairfield at UMBC, 7 p.m.
Georgia State at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, 8 p.m.
Stephen F. Austin at Idaho, 11 p.m.
Thursday, March 16
Saint Peter’s at Albany, 7 p.m.
Furman at USC Upstate, 7 p.m.
UNC Asheville at UT Martin, 8 p.m.
Lamar at Texas State, TBD
Weber State at Cal State Fullerton, 10 p.m. (Riley Wallace Classic)
Wednesday, March 29
Semifinal 1, 7 p.m., CBS Sports Network
Semifinal 2, 9 p.m., CBS Sports Network
Friday, March 31
Semifinal winners, 9 p.m, CBS Sports Network