When Pitt didn’t get into the NCAAs or NIT, the Panthers decided their season still needed to continue by accepting a bid in the CBI.
Insert crickets chirping effect here.
The Panthers have every right to continue their season, but the reward of doing so by playing in the CBI is insignificant.
Head coach Jamie Dixon will likely point to the fact that he needs to get his young players more time and let them experience a tournament feel. While participating in the CBI does accomplish that to a degree, it’s not even close to comparing to the NCAAs.
For starters, Pitt will play its first game at home. Hosting a game isn’t close to playing a neutral site contest. The Panthers also aren’t going to face the type of competition they would if they played in the NCAA. These are teams that, like Pitt, weren’t very good this season. There’s also the very real possibility that Pitt even makes an early exit and doesn’t go very far. The Panthers could be so disinterested that an early exit occurs.
Even if Pitt plays extremely well, advances, and wins the entire tournament, it’s not a title that would ever be celebrated. The reward in all of this is fairly minimal when you think about it.
Personally, I don’t understand the move. If Pitt wants actual tournament experience, they would be better off playing in a real non-conference early season tournament against tough competition.
For more on the CBI and Pitt basketball, head over to SB Nation’s blog, Cardiac Hill.