The CBI kicked off Wednesday night with 14 of the 16 teams in action. Not to remove the suspense, but this is where things stand heading into the quarterfinals:
Here’s what led to those match ups:
UMKC 92, Green Bay 82
LaVell Boyd called it a “revenge” game for UMKC. If that’s what it was, mission accomplished.
The 10-point victory over the Phoenix was a stark contrast from an 18-point loss the Roos suffered the first time the two up-tempo teams met on Nov. 21. The Roos scored 19 points in less than four minutes late in the second half to capture the first postseason win in their Division I history. The run was fueled by a barrage of three’s from freshman Isaiah Ross and senior Kyle Steward.
“Green Bay’s style of play, and our style, it’s going to be a game of runs. Fortunately we were able to make the run late in the game that mattered,” Kareem Richardson said after the game. “Until that run at the end we didn’t have a true energy run, but we stayed with it and boom, finally got our run.”
Boyd was also part of the game-deciding run, and the senior helped extend his career with 28 points. Steward scored 19 points after putting up just six in the teams’ first meeting. That was a good indicator of the growth both Steward, who averaged 13.5 points in WAC play, and the team have shown over the past four months.
“We made shots [the first game]. They didn’t shoot the ball like they did tonight, I guess we kind of flip-flopped,” Green Bay coach Linc Darner said after the game.
The Phoenix’ break-neck pace kept the game close throughout, as they continually got high percentage looks in transition. But UMKC held Green Bay to just three free throw attempts in the first half, corralling a strength of Charles Cooper and the Phoenix. The senior scored 17 points, while junior Kerem Kanter led the team with 20 points.
UMKC advances to play Wyoming on March 20. Green Bay’s year comes to an end, but the Phoenix have reached the postseason in Darner’s first two seasons in charge.
Loyola (MD) 73, George Mason 58
The Greyhounds won their first road game since Jan. 28, and it was a big one. After being noticeably left out of our CBI bracket post, Loyola (MD) made everyone take notice by running out to an 11-point halftime lead at George Mason. The lead would balloon to as high as 25 points in the second half. The Greyhounds defense, which had struggled in Patriot League play, held the Patriots senior duo of Marquise Moore and Jalen Jenkins to a combined seven points on 3-of-15 shooting.
"I give credit to Loyola. They played hard, played well and wanted this game," head coach Dave Paulsen said [in a release]. "Guys hit some big shots for them when we started to crawl back into the contest. I'm disappointed in our effort and our intensity.
Though George Mason finished the season on a 2-5 skid it was a favorite in this field. The Greyhounds certainly opened things up with the impressive win, which was their first in the postseason since winning two games in the 2013 CIT.
George Washington 73, Toledo 69
If there’s a star most likely to carry his team to the CBI title, it’s probably Tyler Cavanaugh. The senior certainly played like it in the Colonials’ opening round win against Toledo. Cavanaugh had 29 points (10-15 FG) to lead GW past a Toledo team that would not go away. Freshman guard Jair Bolden, who played 30 minutes for the second time in the last three games, hit a pivotal three with less than 20 seconds to hold off the Rockets. Notably, the win was likely the first of the “official” Maurice Joseph era, as the coach is expected to accept the job on a permanent basis.
Wyoming 91, Eastern Washington 81
The Cowboys ran out to a 12-point half time lead in a game bursting with offense. Wyoming would end up scoring 1.36 points per possession, its highest mark of the season. Eastern Washington’s dynamic duo, Bogdan Bliznyuk (29 points) and Big Sky POY Jacob Wiley (26 points), got loose, but that wasn’t enough for the Eagles to pick up a road win. This was the first postseason win for Wyoming since it won an opening round game against Lehigh in the 2013 CBI. The Cowboys play UMKC next in a match up between two up-tempo teams.
- Utah Valley 74, Georgia Southern 49. Utah Valley picked up a 25-point win at Georgia Southern, the Wolverines’ second-largest margin of victory over a Division I opponent this season. After racing out to a 7-0 Sun Belt start, the Eagles finished the season 4-9. But Mark Byington can return the entire team, led by exciting sophomore guards Ike Smith and Tookie Brown.
- Rice 85, San Francisco 76. Rice built on a strong finish to the season with its first postseason win since 2012. The Owls got 24 points from Egor Koulechov and 21 points from Marcus Evans in the nine-point win. Rice, which finished fifth in CUSA, is now 10-3 since Jan. 28. The Dons should return the bulk of a solid team, other than athletic senior Ronnie Boyce, who led USF with 18 points.
- Coastal Carolina 83, Hampton 67. The Chanticleers used a 52-point second half to bust open a game that was tied at halftime. Juniors Demario Beck (21 points, 9 rebounds) and Jaylen Shaw (22 points, 6 rebounds) had dominant games. This is the second consecutive season with at least one postseason one for Coastal Carolina, as it won three games to reach the CIT semifinals a year ago.