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NDSU to play Wyoming on Wednesday in CBI

FARGO - Upon further review, North Dakota State's men's basketball season is not over.

Bison head coach Saul Phillips said Sunday night he got confirmation his team will play in the 16-team College Basketball Invitational Wednesday night at the University of Wyoming.

"We're excited, another chance to go at it," Phillips said. "It's wonderful. It's March and you should be playing."

The tournament is in its fifth year and matches teams not selected to the NCAA or National Invitational Tournament fields, which were announced earlier Sunday. It's a for-profit event run by the Gazelle Group, a sports marketing firm based in Princeton, N.J.

NDSU's players are on Spring Break, but Phillips said they were briefed on the possibility that a tournament like the CBI was a possibility so they were in instant communication on Sunday.

The Gazelle Group handles the travel arrangements and NDSU was still in the process of finalizing travel plans.

The Bison had their season end a week ago Sunday in the first round of the Summit League tournament and are 17-11.

First round CBI games are scheduled Tuesday and Wednesday. The championship is a best-of-three series the week of March 26.

One of Wyoming's top players is junior guard Luke Martinez, a 2008 Bismarck High School graduate who averages 12.2 points and 3.8 rebounds for the Cowboys.

Western Illinois also made the field, meaning the Summit League has five teams in the postseason. South Dakota State won the Summit's NCAA automatic bid. Oral Roberts was selected to the NIT and will play Nevada while Oakland (Mich.) is playing in the tournament.

The five teams are three more than the Summit has ever put into a postseason tournament.

Kolpack is a sports reporter for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.