Now that Pitt's won two games in the CBI Tournament, the team has a legitimate shot to bring home a trophy. They've got to go through Butler to do it, but the Bulldogs aren't the same team that ran roughshod on the NCAAs last year.
With Pitt's newfound success, how do I feel about the tournament now? Not much different.In my book, playing in the CBI is still nothing short of an embarrassment. This isn't the popular opinion, of course. There are those that will tell you it's not so bad. That if Pitt can somehow win, it will ease the pain of a difficult season. Or that Pitt's program will benefit immensely by Cameron Wright getting an extra 30 minutes of game time this season.
Sorry, still not buying it.
If you still don't feel that playing in the CBI is all that bad, then you never will. That's not to stir up an argument, just that we're on different sides of the fence on this one.
The CBI isn't the NCAAs. It's not even the NIT. It's the CBI. Even if Pitt rolls all the way to the finals and wins, it won't change my line of thinking. This isn't some elitist viewpoint - that would be the case if Pitt had strung together two or three good seasons and stuck its collective noses up against this third tier tournament. Pitt has had a dominant basketball program for a full decade. The postseason success hasn't been what we'd like, but the Panthers are one of the winningest programs in all of basketball over that stretch. If going from that to playing in the CBI isn't an embarrassment, then I don't know what is.
This, of course, isn't to say that Pitt's program is in the tank or something ridiculous like that. One down season in 11 is hardly anything to be highly concerned about. But if we're just talking about this year, there's simply no way to paint a rosy picture about this. Pitt is playing in a tournament with the likes of Western Illinois, North Dakota State, and Delaware. Sorry, but if you think that's not so bad, then I don't know what to tell you.
All of that said, now that Pitt's playing, of course I'm pulling for them. If you're going to play, might as well win while you're doing it, right?