Author: Jonathan Cousins, SEAS’14
Penn is full of acronyms – OCR, SPEC, UA – the list goes on and on, especially in engineering, where acronyms seem to be the order of the day. From SEAS to each major (MEAM, CBE, ESE, etc.), you can hardly get through a day without using acronyms. This week, I was introduced to a new one – CBI. While a typical Penn student might think College Board I______, or something along those lines, the CBI is actually an acronym more closely associated with NCAA and NIT. Yes, the CBI is the College Basketball Invitational, the postseason tournament that Penn is currently competing in.
Most people, including myself, had never heard of the CBI before this week – and most of those people still don’t know what it is. It is a fairly new tournament, started in 2008, whose distinguishing feature is that the championship round is a best-of-three series. When I heard that Penn was going to participate, I was not sure whether to be excited or upset. After all, this news came on the heels of the painful loss to Princeton last Tuesday that kept us out of a playoff game for the Ivy title. But I got a ticket for last night’s game against Quinnipiac – and I was among the few who did. Almost the entire upper bowl was empty, and the student section was more sparsely filled than over spring break, which is saying something. Two of our seniors, Tyler and Mike, were out with nagging injuries that have plagued them throughout the season. All-in-all the atmosphere was that of a meaningless preseason game. But Penn put together a good effort, shooting almost 50% from beyond the arc and playing well defensively and they went on to win the game.
Here is where I insert a plug for the second round game. Having won the first game, Penn now plays Butler in the second round, at home on Monday. If the name Butler rings a bell, they probably ruined your bracket at some point during the past two years, as they went to the Final Four the past two years. Yes, that is the Final Four in the NCAA tournament, against the best teams in college basketball. This year has been a down year for them after they graduated some of the upperclassmen that fueled their previous tourney runs. But if that history is not enough of a draw, perhaps you have heard of the Hinkle Fieldhouse. “Indiana’s Cathedral of Basketball” as it is described on Wikipedia, not to be confused with our own Cathedral of College Basketball, the Palestra. Even if Hinkle doesn’t ring a bell, you may have seen it as the stadium used in the classic basketball movie Hoosiers.
I think this game will attract more campus attention, and I encourage anyone that can make it out to the Palestra on Monday to be there. It should be a great game, and any trip to the Palestra is a special, unique experience. I’ll be there, Row 2, behind the basket amongst the Red and Blue Crew. Looking forward to it!