The College Basketball Invitational - you may know it as the CBI - or, as I prefer to call it: College Basketball's Grand Olde Dame - is an august, time-honored tradition spanning nearly one quarter of a generation, with its Other Scores From Tonight's Action seared into our collective sporting memory; uplifting us and demanding we celebrate human potential in all of its beauty and fragility.
With a history spanning well over fifty months, the CBI is where legends are born, often prematurely, and kept under a Jack in The Box heat lamp in a dank Romanian orphanage.
Established way back in 2008, what began as a wild dream by various third rate sponsors has become a startling basketball reality. Startling primarily in that such a thing exists at all. WHY? WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS?
These are the powerful questions that the CBI challenges us with.
Fifty months, people!
To put that span of time into perspective, when this tournament began, Barack Obama was President of these very United States! A gallon of milk cost precisely what it does today. A movie also the same. And America was being swept by something called "reality television." Oh, what hopeful and heady times were those. The late 2000s.
The CBI is a bridge to those simpler times. A shaky hemp rope bridge made by goat herders begging to be cut by a swarthy man with a scimitar, plunging you 1,000 feet into a river infested with crocodiles and amoebas that swim up your dickhole. But a bridge, nonetheless.
Who can forget the roundball thrillers of years past - Penn and Quinnipac! Wyoming-North Dakota St! Oregon-Duquesne!
I know what you're thinking - how can he not mention Evansville-Hofstra in 2011? Or 2009 Charleston-Troy? Oh Ye Gods, the Titans did clash!
Yes, yes. All of these CBI favorites moments will play across our minds as we anticipate the opening tip between Texas and Houston before a buzzing crowd of hundreds. Or, more likely, we will skip the game entirely and scan the box score two day later with a vague passing interest, but the adrenalin will flow, nonetheless!
Yes, you read it right, Longhorns, we face mighty Houston.
Phi Slamma Jamma - the fabled Houston Cougars of Hakeem Olujawon, Clyde Drexler, Otis Birdsong, Tom Penders, and Elvin Hayes.
For the Horns, a .500 season record is at stake. And the opportunity to shoot better than 37% in a NCAA sanctioned basketball game. And, should we triumph, recognition as one of the Top 156 college basketball programs in this solar system.
Looking forward to checking that box score!!!!!!!