Today we were doing some background work on some of the preseason tournaments – you know, the Maui, the PNIT, the Coaches v. Cancer, the CBE (formerly Guardians) Classic, etc. – and we came across some information that absolutely floored us. Seriously – like a-George-Mason-administrator-who-also-happens-to-be-a-college-football-referee-selling-his-F4-rings-on-Ebay (h/t GMB) floored us.
Photo Credit: LA Times
When we started researching the CBE Classic and the Legends Classic, both tournaments put on by The Gazelle Group organization, we discovered very quickly that we couldn’t find a complete bracket for these tournaments. Instead, all we located was a weird one-page listing of matchups on the CBE site, and a similar listing in addition to a four-team “Championship Bracket” on the Legends site. As we floundered wondering what the hell was going on with these tournaments, we noticed an interesting little phrase tucked into the middle of the page of the CBE site (emphasis added).
This year, the O’Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic will be played under a new format…
- Regional hosts automatically advance to the Championship Rounds in Kansas City regardless of the regional results.
- All other participants will advance to play a round-robin series at one of two other sites. Thus, every participating team will be guaranteed four games.
Is this some kind of a joke? Does The Gazelle Group think that we, the college hoops public, are complete effing morons? How can they get away with this??? One of the ironclad bastions of basketball at every level from peewee league up to the pros is the idea of tournament play – you win, you advance. You lose, you go home. And here we have the first instance we’ve ever seen where that rule of basketball law is being fixed supplanted so that the money teams get to keep playing irrespective of their on-court performance.
Oh, but RTC, Kansas, Florida, Washington and Syracuse are going to win those CBE Classic games against a couple of nobodies anyway. Same for Wazzu, Mississippi St, Pitt and Texas Tech in the Legends Classic. No harm, no foul, right?
Where’s My Shotgun?
Well, here’s a reminder for those of you with that clouded mentality – Gardner-Webb. Does that name ring a bell from last year’s CvC Classic? In the subregional round, the little school from outside of Charlotte shocked the basketball world by defeating mighty Kentucky in its worst home loss in almost two decades. In the middle of football season, that loss earned far more attention in the national media (PTI, Sportscenter, etc.) than whoever won that tournament actually got. But the problem, apparently, was that the Kentucky loss resulted in G-W and its dozens of fans going to NYC to play in Madison Square Garden rather than the Big Blue and its legions of fans (and dollars). So this year the Gazelle Group has managed to rig the system in two of its sponsored tournaments so that the marquee names have a 100% chance (as opposed to the 99% chance they previously had) of getting to the semifinal round.
Sorry Fairleigh Dickinson, Eastern Kentucky, North Alabama and Akron (among others), The Gazelle Group doesn’t have room for you on its dance card this year. But hey! At least you’re guaranteed four games, right? That’s just as good as playing in a big-time arena on ESPN, right?
Memo to TGG for next season – why don’t we just take a vote of 12 random teams and declare it the champion of the tournament? That way we can simply do away with the tedium of getting teams to the various locations, televising the games, and actually worrying about who will advance to the next round! You can run ads on ESPN for a month given all the money you’ll save! As for your judges, we hear that there’s a former French Olympic judge available to serve on your panel, and Katherine Harris is always around for this sort of thing…
What a stinking, heaping, vomit-inducing pile of abomination.
Please tell The Gazelle Group how much they suck at: firstname.lastname@example.org.