One of the most interesting things about the CollegeInsider.com Tournament is that we don’t know the match ups before the prior round finishes. Unlike the NCAA tournament, which is locked into a Dayton-Stanford Sweet 16 game, the CIT reconfigures its bracket after each round.
The idea is that the committee will be able to find logical local rivalries and help reduce travel for all the teams involved. It also means though that some teams are still waiting for their quarterfinal opponent.
The match ups we know now are in the Northeast and West. Pacific will host San Diego at 7 p.m. PST on Wednesday night. Also, on Wednesday night Columbia will host Yale at 7 p.m. at Levien Gymnasium.
Ohio, VMI and Towson also won their second round games, but those three teams aren’t sure yet who (or where) they’ll be playing. The Bobcats at least know they’ll be at home, but their opponent will be determined by the winner of Nebraska-Omaha at Murray State tonight. If the Racers win they’re likely to host. If UNO wins they’ll most likely be on the road.
Given the CIT’s preference for geographically sound match ups, what makes the most sense under either circumstance? I used the Google Distance Matrix API to find the distance between the schools and found that the most likely scenarios are: Towson at Ohio and VMI at Murray State if Murray wins or UNO at Ohio and VMI vs. Towson (most likely Tigers hosting) if UNO is victorious. KenPom gives the Racers a 73% chance of victory.
Here is a table with the results:
|Result||Game 1 Visitor||Game 1 Host||Distance (m)||Game 2 Visitor||Game 2 Host||Distance (m)||Total Distance (m)|
|Murray St. W||Towson||Ohio||583,370||VMI||Murray St.||960,292||1,543,662|
|Murray St. W||Towson||Murray St.||1,299,619||VMI||Ohio||434,799||1,734,418|
What I really want to see though is Columbia vs. VMI. It’s a likely semifinal if both teams win and they couldn’t play basketball more differently. The Lions are 340th nationally in adjusted tempo (61.6 possessions per game) and the Keydets are second (75.2 possessions per game). The battle of wills on the court would be awesome.
Let’s hope those teams both win and the geography aligns. Maybe we’ll get another moment like this.