CBI tournament game in Pullman, no TV

SO YOU'RE ALREADY thinking ahead to Washington State's quarterfinal CBI game against Wyoming on Monday in Pullman, reading up on the Cowboys, getting ready to fire up the flat screen to watch it unfold on HDNet. Well, you might want to hit the pause button. The only way you can see the game is by being in Pullman.

What? The Cougs were on TV for their opening round CBI win over San Francisco. But no TV for the quarterfinals?

That's right. HDNet will air two of Monday's four quarterfinal tilts and the WSU-Wyoming hassle isn't one of them. The network will televise Penn hosting Butler at 5:00pm PT, followed by TCU at Oregon State at 7:00pm PT.

If the Cougs advance, HDNet televises both semifinals games and the best-of-three championship series.

WITH SPRING BREAK ending on Sunday, Washington State bid to host a quarterfinals game. The CBI in turn selected Pullman as one of the quarterfinal sites, so Wyoming will come to the Palouse for Monday's clash.

So WSU is shelling out the $70,000 CBI hosting fee for that game, right? That's the figure that's been widely reported, after all.

Think again, Sally.

It used to be 70K a game in the CBI but according to this, the CBI now requires $35,000 for a first-round game, $50,000 for a quarterfinals game and $75,000 for the semifinals. (The CBI championship series games last year also cost 75K.)

So playing host to Wyoming on Monday will cost the Cougs $50,000, not $70,000, in CBI fees.

The WSU site late Wednesday night put tickets on sale for Monday's game -- adult tickets are $15, children ages 2-18 get in for $10. So if WSU were to sell 3,333 adult tickets, they would hit the $50K mark and break even on the hosting fee, (although there are obviously additional costs involved in putting on a game).

Still, if WSU is able to draw a good-sized crowd on Monday, hosting the game and breaking even is inherently doable, (granted, that might be a big "if" given the smallish attendance numbers this year for basketball). But what if WSU draws a really good-sized crowd -- could the Cougs even turn a profit? Given how past years' hosting participants in the CBI have fared, it seems unlikely. But maybe. It depends on the crowd. And again, the game will not be televised.

AND WHILE WE'RE at it, let's start thinking ahead on the CBI bracket, too.

If WSU beats Wyoming, they'll meet the winner of the Oregon State-TCU game in the semis, right? That's what it shows on the official CBI bracket, after all.

Not so fast.

The CBI, in an interesting quirk, reshuffles and reseeds their bracket.

After the quarterfinals, the four remaining teams will be reseeded and re-bracketed for the semifinal round games on Wednesday, March 21. (the CBI used to reseed after the first round but did away with that this year.)

Why do they do that? The CBI reseeds the brackets in an effort to create the best crowd-drawing matchups. (As the Oregonian noted on last year's CBI tourney champion, Oregon, it was no coincidence the Ducks played Creighton in the finals -- UO head coach Dana Altman had left Creighton the year before for Eugene and when reseeded, the schools were placed on opposite ends of the bracket allowing for the UO-Creighton championship series to unfold.)

Back to this year's CBI. The semifinal winners will advance to the best-of-three Championship Series, which begins on Monday, March 26.

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