Bobcat hoops isn’t over; Men land in CBI, Women in WNIT

Ohio Bobcats
Both Bobcat basketball teams will get a chance at postseason play. Photo by Jason Arkley

Ohio’s 2021-22 season will continue for at least another week.

The Bobcats (24-9) have been slotted into the 16-team, 2022 College Basketball Invitational (CBI). Head coach Jeff Boals, who said his Ohio had “signed contracts” for potential postseason play on Friday night after a loss to Kent State in the semifinals of the MAC Tournament in Cleveland, indicated the Bobcats are thrilled to be a part of the field.

“We are very excited about the opportunity to play in the postseason,” Boals said in a released statement. “Our team had a very good year, and we look forward to continuing to compete. We are excited to see all the Bobcats down in Florida.”

Ohio is listed as the No. 3 seed in the tournament, which will take place March 19-23 at the Daytona Beach Ocean Center in Daytona Beach, Flar. The Bobcats will face No. 14 seed Rice (16-16) in the opening round on Saturday beginning at 7:30 p.m.

The first two rounds of the tournament will be broadcast entirely on FloHoops. The semifinals and championship will be aired on ESPN2. You can view the complete bracket here.

The CBI is regarded as a third-tier postseason tournament, behind the NCAA’s sanctioned and operated NCAA and NIT Tournaments. The CBI is operated by the Gazelle Group, a sports marketing firm based in New Jersey. 

The CBI began in 2008 and typically operated on a model where teams agreed to pay money upfront for the right to host games. For instance, USF in 2019 paid $40,000 per game to host its own first two games in 2019. The event was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but returned in 2021 in a format with on centralized site. Reports stated that the entry fee for each program was $50,000.

2022 marks Ohio’s third entry into the CBI. The Bobcats reached the quarterfinals of the tournament in 2016, with wins over Albany and UNC-Greensboro before bowing out to Morehead State. Ohio is 3-2 all-time in the event and appeared in the inaugural tournament in 2008.

Ohio Women Return to WNIT

The Bobcats received an at-large berth to the 2022 Postseason WNIT on Sunday as well. Ohio (15-14) won’t learn their opponent and location until Monday when the full bracket is revealed. 

This will be OU”s fifth appearance in the WNIT, and second straight appearance. First-round matchups will be played March 16-18. The event is in its 23rd season.

Ohio joined Toledo, Ball State, Kent State, and Akron to give the MAC five teams in the WNIT field. 

Other MAC Postseason Bids

MAC Men’s Tournament champion Akron was slotted as a No. 13 seed for the NCAA Tournament, and will face NO. 4 UCLA later this week.

Women’s champion Buffalo also drew a 13-seed and will face No. 4 Tennessee in the women’s NCAA Tournament.

MAC men’s regular-season champion Toledo picked up an automatic bid for the NIT, and will face Dayton in its first-round game.

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