Penn men's basketball missed out on its shot at an Ivy playoff and the chance to play for an NCAA tournament bid last week in a crushing loss to Princeton — but the Quakers will have at least a chance to end on a better note.
After missing out on a bid to the National Invitational Tournament, the Quakers will host a game in the College Basketball Invitational Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. against Quinnipiac out of the Northeast Conference. The Bobcats lost to eventual NEC champion Long Island in the conference semifinals. For Penn it is the program's 25th post-season appearance, but just second outside of the NCAA tournament.
Quinnipiac beat Yale, 68-62, in November. The other common opponent between the Bobcats and Quakers this season is Robert Morris, which lost to Qunnipiac twice this season by narrow margins. Penn beat RMU by six in the fourth game of the season. The Bobcats have an RPI of 155, compared to Penn, which sits at 98.
If Penn advances, it would play the winner of Delaware-Butler. The Quakers beat Delaware by nine earlier this season. Butler is the two-time NCAA tournament runner-up. The quarterfinal game would be Monday, March 19th.
Princeton will also play in the CBI, traveling to Evansville, in a bracket that also features Wofford and Pittsburgh. You can view the full CBI bracket here.
Earlier in the day, Harvard heard its fate during the NCAA tournament selection show. The 12th seeded Crimson travel to Albuquerque, N.M., to face Vanderbilt, a five-seed in the East region. The Commodores beat No. 1 overall seed Kentucky earlier Sunday to capture the SEC title. Should Harvard advance, they will likely face No. 4 Wisconsin in the next round.
No Ivy teams made the NIT, though Princeton was considered a bubble team for that tournament. Philadelphia's lone representative in the NCAA tournament is fifth-seeded Temple, which will take on the winner of California/Southern Florida in the Midwest region. La Salle and St. Joseph's will both represent the Big 5 in the NIT, facing Minnesota and Northern Iowa, respectively. Drexel, which barely missed the cut for the NCAA tournament, will also play in the NIT against Central Florida. Yale will also get another chance to play, facing former Princeton coach Sydney Johnson at Fairfield in the first round of the College Insider Tournament (CIT). The Stags lost in the MAAC conference finals last week.
On Friday, Penn Athletics emailed basketball season ticket holders informing them that the Quakers would play in a postseason tournament, hosting a game at the Palestra Wednesday if the Quakers didn't make the NIT. The email offered an exclusive presale to season ticket holders, adding the general admission tickets would go on sale Monday.
CBI host teams pay a substantial sum to play the game on their home court. According to this piece from Hamptonroads.com, it costs $35,000 to host a first-round matchup. Teams recoup costs in ticket and concession sales, as well as eliminated travel costs. Chairback seats will cost $20, general admissions will be $12 and student tickets will be $5. Penn needs only to sell about 3,000 tickets $12 to make back the entrance-fee cost. That shouldn't be a problem for Penn, which averaged about 4,400 per home game this season.
The Red and Blue Crew will sell student tickets to the game on Locust Walk Tuesday and Wednesday.
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