Although the Texas Longhorns failed to make the NCAA tournament field for the first time in 15 years, their season is not yet over. Citing sources, the Houston Chronicle’s Joseph Duarte reported that the Longhorns have accepted a bid to the 2013 College Basketball Invitational. Texas will open play at the University of Houston on Wednesday, at 8 P.M. CT. The winner of Wednesday’s game will advance to face the College of Charleston or George Mason in the second round on Monday, March 25th.
The matchup with Houston will renew an old Southwest Conference rivalry that has been dormant since the 2000-01 season. The all-time series is nearly even, with Texas holding a two-game winning streak and a narrow 32-31 overall edge. Texas coach Rick Barnes also has a 6-0 record against Houston’s James Dickey, with all of those games coming in the last three years of Dickey’s tenure at Texas Tech.
Now in its sixth year, the CBI is a 16-team tournament culminating in a best-of-three Championship Series. All games are played at the home arenas of the participating teams, meaning that the Longhorns would be able to host games if they can advance to later rounds. With the Erwin Center home to NCAA tournament games this weekend, Texas had no choice but to open CBI play on the road.
The College Basketball Invitational is produced by the Gazelle Group, a New Jersey-based sports marketing firm. The Gazelle Group also manages exempt November events that the Longhorns frequently play in, such as the 2K Sports Classic, Legends Classic, and CBE Classic.
For Coach Barnes, this post-season bid is his 21st-consecutive and 24th overall in his 26-year career. The 21-year streak includes all four years he spent at Clemson and the final two years of his stint at Providence. It is comprised of 18 NCAA bids and two NIT appearances, in addition to this year’s CBI nod.
Although the CBI bid extended Barnes’ streak of post-season appearances, his personal string of 17-straight NCAA bids was snapped on Sunday. Barnes’ 17-year run was tied with that of Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski for the longest active streak, but Coach K can now lay sole claim to that title. The Blue Devils earned a No. 2 seed in this year’s NCAA tournament, extending Krzyzewski’s streak to 18 years.
Fans will be able to purchase tickets for Wednesday’s game online or by calling the University of Houston box office at 1-877-COUGAR5.
The clash between Texas and Houston is one of four CBI first-round games that will be broadcast live on AXS TV, the cable network owned by Mark Cuban, Ryan Seacrest, and the Creative Artists Agency. In Austin, AXS TV can be found on AT&T U-Verse (Channel 1106) and Grande Communications (880). Satellite customers can also watch the game on DIRECTV (Channel 340) and Dish Network (362).
EDITOR’S NOTE: A previous version of this post did not include potential second round opponents and listed both possible game times.