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Penn State Accepts CBI Bid, Will Face Hampton in First Round

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Despite finishing with a 15-17 record, the Nittany Lions will compete in the postseason - albeit in a tournament of the "pay to play" variety.

Pictured: Geno Thorpe showing his excitement over playing in the CBI
Pictured: Geno Thorpe showing his excitement over playing in the CBI
Andy Lyons

Pat Chambers said this week that his team would accept an invite to the College Basketball Invitational, a third-tier tournament in which participating schools pay upwards of $60,000 per home game. Tonight Penn State accepted a bid to play in the CBI, where they will host Hampton in the first round on Wednesday night (time TBD). Here is the full CBI bracket, which, as you'll see, is pretty wonky - the tournament is re-seeded after the quarterfinals so the organizers can pocket more cash from the teams that want to pay for a home court advantage.

The tournament gives the Nittany Lions a maximum of six additional games, as the final of the 16-team tournament is a three-game series. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) the games will not be televised except for the quarterfinals and finals, where the action can then be found on CBS Sports Network. Strangely, it does not sound as though the semifinals will be televised, but online streaming may be available for every contest.

As for Penn State's chances to win this godforsaken tournament, they're pretty high on paper. The Nittany Lions have the highest KenPom ranking among CBI participants (82nd), although UTEP (23-10, 91st in KenPom) is likely to be considered the tournament favorite. Also, a rematch with Return to Rec party poopers Princeton could be on the cards.

More on the first round matchup with Hampton on Wednesday. Start filling out your brackets.