Former Iowa coach REDACTED was fond of talking about "March situations," his folksy Hoosier-state euphemism for postseason basketball. Even before the season began, it's not like any of us were seriously considering a "March situation" for the Iowa hoopyballers this year. 17 losses in 27 games later and, well, we really weren't expecting any sort of postseason for the Hawks unless lightning could strike four times and
burn Conseco Fieldhouse to the ground make the 2010-2011 Iowa Hawkeyes the single-most improbable Big Ten Tournament winner of all-time. But apparently we forgot about the CBI. No, not that CBI; we'll never forget about them. This CBI: The College Basketball Invitational, one of the many added postseason tournaments that have sprouted up in recent years. It turns out they might just like the cut of Iowa's jib, losing record and all:
"I think we’ve got a letter of inquiry, and I think anytime you have a chance to play in the postseason I would be interested," McCaffery said. "I have to see how we finish up, what’s our health, things of that nature. But it gives you an opportunity to give your young guys an opportunity.
The CBI is most notable for having the wackiest -- but actually kinda cool -- championship game structure of any of the postseason tournaments: a best two-out-of-three series. Also, no Big Ten team has ever played in the CBI, so Iowa would be breaking the CBI's Big Ten cherry.
If you're inclined to whine about the fact that there are too many postseason tournaments now and they don't mean anything outside of the NCAA Tournament: shut up. The "prestige" of the tournament is utterly irrelevant. Iowa remains a stupidly young and inexperienced team (a fact we're reminded of every time they fall apart during crunch time) and the best thing for them right now is to get more games under their proverbial belts. If the CBI wants to invite Iowa to their party this year (and, to be clear, there's no guarantee that they will -- they send out of these "letters of inquiries" just to gauge interest levels from potential teams and they send them out to a lot of teams), more power to 'em and hopefully Fran signs off on it. The CBI isn't the "March situation" we've been dreaming about, but it is the one we'd take at this point.
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