CIT/CBI Bracketology Number 7 March 4th 2019

By: Ethan Hennessy
March has arrived! Conference tournaments begin tonight (Monday March 3rd) with the Atlantic Sun.


The ASUN team banners inside Allen Arena in Nashville Tennessee (where the ASUN tournament runs through in 2019).


Lipscomb’s 2018 ASUN basketball champion setup as seen during my trip to Nashville in November to see the bison beat Tennessee State. The quest for this year’s ASUN title begins tonight (Monday March 4th) with the tournament quarterfinals at campus sites.

I am in my second season doing CIT/CBI bracketology for Happening Hoops. I do this because I genuinely enjoy following these tournaments, and believe they do not get a ton of coverage despite some good teams playing in them each year. In both 2017 and 2018 I was the first source to publicly break the majority of the fields for both tournaments.
In my final bracketology predictions for the 2018 fields I accurately predicted:
18/20 CIT teams and 9/16 CBI Teams.
The teams that get invited to these postseason tournaments are ones that failed to make the NCAA or NIT, and sometimes we do not know who is in and out of those tournaments until later in championship week. Also, teams must pay entry and hosting fees which deters some teams. Furthermore, in the CIT you are required a .500 record, and be a mid-major. Some coaches view these tournaments as good building blocks for their programs, and others do not, so that might lead one program to be more likely to turn down or accept a bid. Geography must also be factored into selection (you don’t want to have three teams on the west coast and all the rest on the east coast). Some programs have their AD or conference commissioner on the selection committee, so they are more likely to accept. Lastly, there are always the handful of teams you see in these tournaments it seems like every year.
So with attempting to factor all of that information into this I will try to tell you who I think will be heading to the CIT and CBI this year. I also factor in which teams have accepted bids in the past years to one or both of the tournaments because that would indicate (assuming they meet the selection committee criteria) they are more likely to return.


Fort Wayne’s CIT banners hanging in the Gates Sport Center. The Mastodons have made the postseason 5 straight seasons the longest run of any team in Indiana, and four of those trips have been to the CIT.

If they have long postseason droughts because this might make a team more likely to accept a bid to one of these tournaments.


UMBC before they made their magical run to the round of 32 in the NCAA tournament last season made a run to the final four of the CIT in 2017. The retrievers first postseason appearance at the time since 2008.

I will not consider teams that are leading their league at the time of this because they would be heading to the NCAA or NIT tournament (however we all know standings change often). Lastly, any inside information I hear about programs expressing interest in participating will be factored into these.
Any information on teams being offered, accepting, or declining bids to either tournament can be sent to or DM’ed to Happening Hoops on Twitter.


For the first time ever I am ranking teams by groups of who I believe is most likely to end up in a tournament to least likely. All 36 teams you see listed here are teams I am currently projecting in the fields today, however teams in the A groups I believe have the best chance of ending up in the tournaments, B groups have a decent change, and teams in the C group I would still expect to see in the fields if the season ended today, but I have the least amount of confidence in that. In previously bracketology posts teams were listed in alphabetical order of conferences.

A group – Assuming this team does not finish below .500 or win their conference tournament it is safe to assume they would end up in the tournament they are projected in.

B group – I think there is a good chance they end up where they are projected, but it is by no means a guarantee.

C group – Teams in this group have a fair shot of ending up in the tournament they are listed in.

CIT (20 teams last season)

  • Abilene Christian (23-6 Southland) A
  • Fort Wayne (17-14 Summit) A
  • Cal Baptist (15-13 WAC) A
  • Austin Peay (21-10 OVC) A
  • NJIT (20-11 ASUN) A
  • UIC (16-15 Horizon) A
  • Southeastern Louisiana (15-14 Southland) A
  • Presbyterian (17-14 Big South) A
  • UMBC (19-12 America East) B
  • UCSB (19-9 Big West) B
  • NC A&T (17-12 MEAC) B
  • San Diego (18-13 WCC) B
  • Hartford (17-13 America East) B
  • Brown (18-10 Ivy) B
  • Lamar (18-12 Southland) C
  • UTSA (16-13 CUSA) C
  • Kent State (20-9 MAC) C
  • GCU (18-10 WAC) C
  • Samford (16-15 SoCon) C
  • Missouri State (16-15 MVC) C

CBI (16 teams last season)

  • Stony Brook (23-7 America East) A
  • UTRGV (18-14 WAC) A
  • Southern Utah (14-13 Big Sky) A
  • Omaha (19-10 Summit) B
  • New Orleans (17-11 Southland) B
  • Green Bay (16-15 Horizon) B
  • Jacksonville State (23-8 OVC) B
  • Miami (15-14 MAC) B
  • IUPUI (16-15 Horizon) B
  • Seattle (16-13 WAC) C
  • Loyola Marymount (20-10 WCC) C
  • FIU (18-11 CUSA) C
  • Texas Southern (17-11 SWAC) C
  • American (15-14 Patriot) C
  • Saint Francis Brooklyn (17-14 NEC) C
  • Quinnipiac (16-13 MAAC) C

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