Let’s Talk About Detroit Mercy, CBI Bracketology #8 3-4-23

By: Ethan Hennessy

I know it was just two days since my last bracketology update but I felt a longer post addressing the Detroit Mercy situation was warranted. Additionally, one of the teams I had in my Thursday bracketology told me they are done for the season so the bracketology quickly became outdated anyways.

For some context, Detroit Mercy has a player Antoine Davis Jr who has 3,664 career points sitting four points away from breaking Pete Maravich’s all time NCAA total points scored record. Detroit lost at Youngstown State in the Horizon League Tournament Quarterfinals sending them to 14-19 and eliminating them from the possibility of receiving the Horizon League’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament given out to the winner of the conference tournament.

I recently got asked this question by a reader of the site.

Q: What are your thoughts about Detroit Mercy getting invited, given all the attention they would attract?

My response to this good question is at first I thought it wasn’t happening because with no Basketball Classic this year the CBI has their pick of any teams that don’t make the NIT thus presumably making the field of 16 teams quite strong. Now the CBI has taken below .500 teams before. Pretty much every year in the tournaments leading up to the pandemic there were a small handful of teams with losing records. In 2019 when I covered every round of the tournament at DePaul that field had the two “worst” teams to ever receive at large bids to a postseason tournament (14-20 West Virginia and 13-20 Cal State Northridge), so the CBI has a history of admitting teams like 2022-2023 Detroit Mercy.

That being said I did still expect the field to be strong and the buzz I have been hearing around the country concurs. If realistically at least half of the teams could be 20 win teams and Detroit is 14-19 there’s no shot, right? Well the more I thought about it I thought maybe…

The CBI would certainly get more attention on their event, and more eyeballs/ticket sales means more revenue which at the end of the day is the main reason why tournaments like the CBI exist. That being said if the CBI admits Detroit there is no hiding; the reason why they would be in the field would be obvious. I think some people would love it so that they could see Davis break the record and some people would hate it feeling Detroit isn’t deserving and they are tarnishing the scoring record. Detroit and coach Mike Davis have already said they would accept a bid, and pay the entrance fee, so the decision lies with the CBI. I’ve been predicting these tournaments for for six years, and my honest opinion right now on the morning of March 4th is that its probably a 70% chance Detroit goes to the CBI.

College Basketball Invitational (16 Teams Daytona Beach Florida)

  • American (17-14 Patriot)
  • Ball State (20-11 MAC)
  • Bryant (17-12 America East)
  • Detroit Mercy (14-19 Horizon)
  • Fordham (23-7 A-10)
  • Indiana State (22-11 MVC)
  • Longwood (20-12 Big South)
  • Merrimack (16-16 NEC)
  • Norfolk State (20-10 MEAC)
  • North Alabama (18-14 ASUN)
  • Samford (21-10 SoCon)
  • San Jose State (18-12 Mountain West)
  • Southern Indiana (16-16 OVC)
  • Southern Utah (20-11 WAC)
  • Stetson (17-13 ASUN)
  • Troy (20-12 Sun Belt)

Yearly Breakdown

2022: 97% (36/37) Perfect CBI

2021: 100% (8/8) Perfect CBI

*2020: 88% minimum *It was later determined three days from Selection Sunday (at the time of the cancelations) I had already correctly predicted 37 of the would-be 42 teams confirmed in the fields.

2019: 93% (39/42)

2018: 75% (27/36)

If you have any information regarding a team and the CBI you can email me anonymously at happeninghoops@gmail.com or direct message me on twitter @HappeningHoops


  1. Gary Jason Good says:

    Where is Akron projected?… The are the 3 seed in the MAC and only MAC team without a Quad 4 loss. Ball State is 4th in the MAC, lost to Akron last week, and also has a Q4 loss.


    • I could see Akron getting in. They are a Gazelle Group team (participated in the Barstool Classic in Philly). Ball State looks to be one of the teams more secure in the field. Record wise they are plenty good enough I’m just not sure they want to go. If there is a second MAC team though it will probably be Akron.


      • Gary Jason Good says:

        So, just trying to understand, are you saying because they played Mississippi State in Philadelphia that Akron is less likely to be in the CBI than Ball State despite Akron’s resume and metrics being better?
        I guess I don’t understand how that works.


      • When it comes to the CBI the only “metrics” that matter are overall record, and even that to be honest doesn’t matter that much. It really comes down to who has the money and wants to keep playing. Other factors like the school’s relationship with the company that puts on the tournament, coaches interest in the tournament, player buy in/interest, if the coach is on the hot seat, and university support are factors that basically determine who goes and who doesn’t. All of that being said from asking around Ball State looks to have declined and I don’t think Akron will go. Most of the slots appear to be spoken for already two days before Selection Sunday.


  2. Dan says:

    as an AU alum I’m hoping for two more upsets in the tournament but this would be OK.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. mahsf says:

    Bryant is a curious one. 6th seed in the America East. However, they are the only private school. All the other schools are New England/NY/NJ state schools with not a huge emphasis on basketball (except Vermont, maybe Binghamton). Vermont will go to NCAAs or NITs this year. With a $27,500 entrance fee and travel (flights, hotel and food may more than double that) for CBI, that becomes expensive especially if it is not budgeted. All in that may be an Assistant Coaches Salary! I assume the CBI has to weigh that? Bryant is “fairly” new to D1, just joined America East and trying to build its program. That plus a private school with a nearly $70k price tag may be more willing to shell out that money.


  4. Tiger Man says:

    What about a team like Tennesse State out of the OVC… They had 18 wins and one of the best players to come out of that conference in Jr. Clay??? I think adding an HBCU to the event could help ticket sales in Daytona Beach where FAMU is located.


  5. Clark says:

    Any word on UNCG playing in a postseason tourney?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Everett Will says:

    Is there any chance of Marshall getting into the CBI? The team’s head coach thinks there’s still a chance for the Thundering Herd to go NCAA or NIT which seems delusional but the CBI could be a better fit.


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