The 2018 Central Basketball Association regular season came to a close this weekend, with Indianapolis not only winning the regular season crown for a second consecutive year and earning the top-seed in the postseason tournament, but they also became the second team in league history to finish the season with an undefeated record. Indianapolis seeks to achieve the same glory as Fort Wayne, who became the first ever team to finish the regular season with an undefeated record in 2016, who then proceeded with two playoff victories en route to their first championship title. In their three seasons in the CBA, Indianapolis has made it to the playoffs now each year, getting to the semifinal round in 2016, and the title game last year.
Joining Indianapolis in the playoffs will be second-seeded Middle Tennessee, who swept the weekend series against Bowling Green to finish the regular season with a 7-1 record - a massive turnaround from their 1-7 regular season record last year. Middle Tennessee, who won the league title in 2014 and finished as runner up in 2016, earned their fourth postseason berth in their six-year history.
The back-to-back defending champions, Fort Wayne, who finished the regular season with a 5-3 record for the second straight year, will qualify as the third-seed. In their first year in the CBA in 2014, Fort Wayne made it to the semifinals as the third-seed. In 2015, Fort Wayne made it one step further to the title game as the fourth-seed. In 2016, as the top-seed, Fort Wayne earned its first championship, and in 2017, as the second-seed won their second straight title. Fort Wayne is 6-2 all-time in the playoffs, including winning their last four games, and is 4-1 in the state of Indiana.
Memphis rounds out the four eligible postseason clubs, as they finished the regular season with a 5-3 record, getting in via a victory over Jackson coupled with the Bowling Green losses to Middle Tennessee. Although they had the same record as Fort Wayne, they earned the fourth-seed due to losing out on overall point differential tiebreaker. Memphis, which last qualified for the postseason tournament in 2016, were responsible for Middle Tennessee's only loss this season, defeating them on the road in their first meeting this year in Nashville.
Each year the postseason tournament has alternated locations: in 2013, the playoffs were held in St. Louis; held in Nashville in 2014; held in Fort Wayne in 2015; held in Indianapolis in 2016; and last year in 2017, they were held in Danville, Illinois.
Indianapolis and Memphis will face each other for the first time ever, while Middle Tennessee and Fort Wayne have won three games against each other in six total games played. In fact, all three of Fort Wayne's victories against Middle Tennessee have occurred at home in Fort Wayne, including a 110-83 victory in the 2016 CBA Championship game.
This year, the playoffs return to Fort Wayne for the first time since 2015. The postseason tournament, featuring the semifinals this Saturday, and the championship game on Sunday, will be held at the Horizon Academy, located at 2000 North Wells Street in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
All games will be broadcasted live on the CBA Facebook page, CBA YouTube page, and the CBA website.
2018 CBA Playoff Schedule
Saturday, May 5:
1-seed Indianapolis (8-0) vs. 4-seed Memphis (5-3) - 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time
2-seed Middle Tennessee (7-1) vs. 3-seed Fort Wayne (5-3) - 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time
Sunday, May 6:
2018 CBA Championship Game (2:00 p.m. Eastern Time)