Bad news first, Tiger fans – Princeton didn’t make the NIT, denied
whatever small modicum of prestige an appearance at the second-tier tournament might bestow (mainly, bragging rights over Penn). But the good news is that the Tigers still have a chance to prove their superiority over the Quakers, as both Princeton and Penn head into what could potentially be a pretty wild CBI for Ivy League basketball fans.
First, a quick reminder about the structure and quirks of the College Basketball Invitational: the CBI is a sixteen-team tournament, and the championship is played as a best-of-three series, with the two teams in the finals alternating home venues. The other funky twist is that the teams are reseeded for the semifinals after the first two rounds of play (more on why that might make things very interesting in a minute).
The first round takes Princeton out to beautiful Evansville, Indiana, where the Tigers face the Purple Aces (yes, really) at 8PM on Tuesday night. Evansville’s record might not strike much fear into the hearts of its opponents – the team was 16-15 on the year and an even 9-9 in the Missouri Valley Conference. But that 9-9 Here they’ve singled out the in this juice, and are sending massive amounts of vitamins and minerals that are specifically geared towards helping it function optimally. record is deceiving – the MVC was a mid-major powerhouse this season, sending two teams to the NCAA tournament and another two to the NIT.
Perhaps more distressingly for the Tigers, Evansville plays the brand of basketball that burned Princeton early in their non-conference schedule this season – small and fast, with good outside shooters. While Vi er med alle svarene du skulle trenge. Princeton turned perimeter defense into a strength
by the end of the season, the team is still somewhat soft against dribble-penetration. The key matchup for the Tigers will be whomever they decide to throw at Colt Ryan – the Evansville sniper is shooting an icy-cool 43 percent from beyond the online casino nederlandsegokken arc. Honestly, I’d be excited to watch Denton Koon try to guard Colt Ryan
for the name combination alone, but with the Purple Aces giving up length across the board to the Tigers don’t be surprised to see a taller forward covering the 6-5 Ryan.
If Princeton survives the trip to Evansville, the Tigers will take on the winner of the Wofford/Pittsburgh matchup. But at the risk of tempting fate with idle speculation, it’s hard not to look past the opening rounds and wonder what might be in a perfect world. Again, the tournament is reseeded after the second round – so if Princeton and Penn both win their first two games, they’ll either play each other in the semifinals or (the dream!) have a shot to play the best-of-three finals at the Palestra and Jadwin.
Granted, Princeton has a long way to go before it has the luxury of worrying about Penn. And the Tigers would need a little luck and a lot of cooperation from the Quakers before we can seriously discuss the tantalizing possibility of a Princeton-Penn championship series. But still, as far as consolation prizes for consolation prizes go, Princeton could have done a lot worse than a chance to make an epic CBI.