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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Quinnipiac men’s basketball selected for CBI for second time in program history, will face Evansville in opening round

Tyler Rinko
Graduate student guard Matt Balanc drives to the rim against Saint Peter’s on March 15.

For just the first time since 2018-19, Quinnipiac men’s basketball will be participating in a postseason tournament. 

On Selection Sunday, the Bobcats were announced as one of the 15 teams to compete in the College Basketball Invitational from March 23-27 in Daytona Beach, Florida. They were selected as the tournament’s No. 6 seed, facing off against Evansville.

“We’re excited to have our season continue at the 2024 College Basketball Invitational in Florida,” head coach Tom Pecora wrote in a March 17 press release. “An invitation to any postseason tournament is an honor, and I’m glad that our success during the regular season is being recognized. We look forward to showcasing our talent further down in Daytona Beach against other excellent college basketball programs.”

In years past, Quinnipiac would have been guaranteed a spot in the National Invitational Tournament, which used to grant automatic bids to regular season champions before a rule change this past offseason.

Following the Bobcats’ 62-60 loss to Saint Peter’s in the MAAC semifinals Friday night, their postseason hopes dwindled to the CBI or the now-returning Postseason Tournament.

“Hopefully our season’s not over, I think we’re gonna have an opportunity to play in one of the other postseason tournaments,” head coach Tom Pecora said Friday. “I think it’s a shame that they’ve taken away the NIT bid from mid-major conference champions because it’s a tradition-rich tournament.”

The CBI is one of just four nationally recognized postseason tournaments and one of three that isn’t under the NCAA umbrella. Because of this, programs must fork over a $27,500 fee to be eligible for participation. 

It will also be a final opportunity for graduating guards Matt Balanc and Savion Lewis to play in a Quinnipiac uniform. Balanc — who was named to the MAAC All-Tournament Team — hit a circus-like three pointer to tie the semifinals before losing just seconds later. 

“We wanted to win a chip,” Balanc said Friday. “Sadly that wasn’t able to happen … That’s really what we wanted. We wanted to win a championship.”

It was a championship-type season for Quinnipiac, despite the abrupt ending. The Bobcats’ 24 wins were the most in school history, and they broke the single-season Division I scoring record with 2,567 points this year.

“We won 24 games, I don’t know how many teams in the country can say that,” Pecora said. “My goal as the head coach is for us to just continue to get not only great players, but great people to come to Quinnipiac.”

The MAAC isn’t new to this tournament. Siena won the title back in 2014, and this will be the second time the Bobcats play in the CBI. Two years prior, Quinnipiac dropped the opening round matchup to Penn. 

Tip-off for the CBI will begin on March 23 at 11 a.m., and the 24-9 Bobcats will face off the 16-17 Purple Eagles on Sunday, March 24 at 5:30 p.m.

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About the Contributors
Ethan Hurwitz
Ethan Hurwitz, Sports Editor
Tyler Rinko
Tyler Rinko, Associate Photography Editor

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