By Brian McInnis
Let's assume for a moment that the Hawaii athletics administration is willing to put up the $35,000 base fee for the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament, plus whatever additional ticket and operational costs UH has to front, which might come out to about another $20K.
As of Saturday night, there's a chance Hawaii could score a berth to the 32-team CIT. Take a moment to appreciate how unlikely this seemed on the heels of the demoralizing 71-60 loss to UC Irvine in the Big West first round on Thursday.
CIT chair Riley Wallace said today that several of the teams he'd targeted for participation, particularly in the West region, are no longer available because of the unpredictability of league tournaments, among other factors. For example, one of the Big West teams he targeted (UC Irvine or Pacific) will win the BWC championship and go to the NCAA Tournament. And he can't invite Long Beach State instead because the 49ers get a NIT appearance based on their regular-season Big West championship.
Should Pacific hold on to win the BWC title (it's up 11 at halftime right now), that robs Wallace of a team willing to host two rounds, which might make UH more appealing for the CIT.
Thirty-two teams in a pay-for-play tournament is quite a few. Only a handful of teams in the event are willing to host for more than a game or two, should they make it that far. UH proved it could make it work two years ago, when it was a 24-team tournament, and broke even financially in hosting two games.
There's at least a shred of interest on UH's part this time. Athletic director Ben Jay indicated on Saturday that it was premature to call the Rainbow Warriors' season officially over.
UH coach Gib Arnold told our Dave Reardon today that he would be receptive to participation in the CIT, particularly if Brandon Spearman continues to progress in his ankle rehab.
Would you go to a CIT game (or two) if it materialized? Or are you too down on the team's recent performances? Comment away with your thoughts.