The start time for Bradley’s first-round game versus Cincinnati in the College Basketball Invitational Wednesday has been changed to 6 p.m. (CST) to accommodate television coverage on Fox College Sports, according to the tournament’s official bracket announcement early Monday morning.
The Bradley men’s basketball team will be playing in the postseason for a third consecutive season, and for the fourth time the Braves (17-15) will help introduce a new postseason tournament. Bradley will host one-time Missouri Valley Conference rival Cincinnati (13-18, 8-10 Big East) at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Carver Arena in the first round of the inaugural, 16-team College Basketball Invitational.
Season-ticket holders may purchase their regular-season seats in person at the Robertson Fieldhouse Box Office beginning Monday at 9 a.m. through Tuesday evening. The ticket office will operate from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. both Monday and Tuesday. General public may begin to purchase any available seats beginning Wednesday at 10 a.m. from the Robertson Fieldhouse Box Office of the Carver Arena Box Office. Ticket prices will range from $9 to $30, based on location.
Bradley University students may purchase seats for $1, also in peron at the Robertson Fieldhouse Box Office.
Following runs to the Sweet 16 of the 2006 NCAA Tournament and the 2007 MasterCard NIT, Bradley will be making its 33rd postseason tournament appearance overall in its sixth different event. Sunday night’s news means Bradley now has been invited to play in the first-ever offerings of the NIT (1938), NCAA Tournament (1939), National Campus Tournament (1951), Commissioner’s Classic (1974) and the CBI. Bradley, which also played in the 1930 National AAU Tournament, turned down its 1939 invitation to the NCAA Tournament in favor of a return bid to the NIT.
The first round of the CBI will be played at eight campus sites, with four games Tuesday and four Wednesday. The tournament will continue with games at campus sites throughout the, tournament. Second-round games will be played March 24, the semifinals March 26 and the championship round will be played as a best-of-three series March 31, April 2 and April 4 (if necessary). The field will be re-seeded prior to the semifinals. Fox College Sports will air two of the four games both Tuesday and Wednesday and the Fox SportsNet affiliates will have the option to simulcast those productions.
Cincinnati owns a 19-13 lead in the all-time series, which includes 27 meetings as Valley rivals between 1957 and 1970. In addition, the two teams played the longest game in NCAA history, a seven-overtime marathon in their most-recent encounter Dec. 21, 1981 at Robertson Memorial Fieldhouse. Fourth-ranked Bradley’s 91-90 victory against No. 1-ranked Cincinnati Jan. 16, 1960 at Robertson Fieldhouse was voted the Greatest Game in Bradley Basketball history through a vote of fans during the program’s 100-year celebration.
Bradley owns a 10-5 all-time home record versus Cincinnati, but Wednesday’s game will be the first for the Bearcats at Carver Arena.
Wednesday’s game will be Bradley’s first against a Big East Conference member this season. Sixth-year Bradley head coach Jim Les is 6-1 all-time against the current Big East membership and the Braves have won six in a row against the membership: DePaul (3-1), Pittsburgh (1-0), Providence (1-0) and Rutgers (1-0). The first-round CBI matchup against Cincinnati marks the third consecutive year the Braves will have faced a Big East team in the postseason. Bradley knocked off Pittsburgh, 72-66, in the second round of the 2006 NCAA Tournament and Providence, 90-78 in overtime, in the first round of the 2007 MasterCard NIT at Carver Arena. DePaul was a member of Conference USA during the first two games of their recent four-year series, but Bradley swept the final two meetings in the 2005-06 and 2006-07 season-openers after the Blue Demons switched to the Big East.
The Bradley/Cincinnati winner will face Tuesday’s winner of the Ohio/Brown game March 24. Game site and time will be determined after first-round play is completed.
Courtesy Bradley Sports Information