Bracket Creep

I'm not in the habit of biting the hand that feeds me. I'm just calling it like I see it.

My college football allegiance - my graduate alma mater, USF - has played in such prestigious postseason contests as the Meineke Car Care Bowl, the Bowl, and the magicJack St. Petersburg Bowl. When I've entertained the "too many bowls?" question in the past, I've acknowledged that downsizing would directly affect my team's prospects.

In college hoops, my attention is more scattered. I have two alma maters and an employer, all of whom play college ball (and a flagship I occasionally keep half an eye on), and through them, I've learned about the expanding field of college basketball's postseason.

Let's set aside the NIT for a moment. At this point, it's a mainstay. It's the Outback Bowl - it sits outside the power structure, but it's got enough respect to make its own way as a viable postseason foray, except perhaps by those who had their sites set higher. But in the past few seasons, in addition to the NIT and WNIT, teams I follow have played in the College Basketball Invitational and the Women's (College) Basketball Invitational (where UNCG is now a finalist!).

But here's the kicker: UMBC's in the postseason as well, still playing and hosting a quarterfinal matchup this weekend. I first learned of this in a video on Facebook where our president was talking about postseason play. Being the impatient social media consumer I am, I immediately googled UMBC CBI. After all, I knew we weren't in the NCAA Tournament or the NIT, so what else is there? This is when I learned of the Tournament. The field is full of mid-majors who had seasons that they're probably proud of, but that clearly didn't qualify them for any of the other three tournaments. It's great to still be playing, and I know I started by saying that I don't like to bite the hand that feeds me...

...but their broadcast partner? Facebook Live.