Welcome to the 2013 CIT.
This is the fifth annual CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT). The first four tournaments were a major success, rewarding deserving teams from 23 different Division I conferences. From the outset the idea was to invite teams that were not members of the power six or BCS conferences. That format has been a welcome addition to college basketball.
I have thoroughly enjoyed serving as the chairman of the CIT selection committee, which is second to none. The committee consists of some of the legends of the game. Having spent nearly 40 years in the coaching profession, I fully understand the importance of postseason when trying to build a program.
In just our seasons the CIT has provided plenty of excitement, while making college basketball history in the process. The 2009 CIT witnessed the longest game-ending shot in division I postseason history when Chris Roberts hit a 75-footer at the buzzer to put Bradley into the semifinals. The 2010 CIT featured Fairfield rallying from 27 points down, with 16:08 remaining in the second half, to defeat George Mason. Fairfield’s comeback was the biggest deficit to be overcome in division I postseason history. And last season saw visiting teams combine for 11 road wins, which is the most for any postseason tournament in division I history.
The CIT was created because of the great number of programs that continued to receive no consideration for postseason play. In 1985 when the NCAA Tournament expanded to 64 teams, there were 282 Division I programs. Combined with the NIT, 96 teams participated in postseason basketball. Today the number of Division I programs has grown to nearly 350. The competitive balance is better than ever and yet the number of teams participating in the NCAA and NIT has increased by only 4.
The year before the creation of the CIT 67 teams, that finished .500 or better, did not participate in postseason play. Eleven of those 67 teams won 20 or more games, with an additional 20 teams amassing at least 18 wins.
From the very beginning there was never any intent to compare the CIT to the NIT, but rather to provide the possibility of postseason for deserving teams that were not selected to the tradition-rich NIT. The foundation of CollegeInsider.com has been built on integrity. I have known Joe Dwyer and Angela Lento, the co-founders of CollegeInsider.com, for many years and they have always operated with the best interests of college basketball at heart.
Like CollegeInsider.com, the CIT is well thought of and highly respected among coaches and administrators. It’s a first class event and I am pleased to be a part of it.