The Iona Gaels will have two days to practice and get on a plane to play at Valparaiso University in Indiana on Wednesday night at 8 PM EST in the first round of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament.
This will be the first postseason tournament for Iona (22-11) since their NCAA appearance in 2006. They are coming off a disappointing loss to NCAA bound Saint Peter's in the Metro Atlantic Conference Championship game last Monday night in Bridgeport, CT. That loss was the Gaels first after nine straight victories including season ending wins over Saint Peter's and NIT invited Fairfield.
Valparaiso was founded in 1859 and is Lutheran affiliated. The University has 4,000 students and is located about an hour southeast of Chicago. The Crusaders were 23-11 on the season finishing a game behind a three way first place tie in the Horizon League between Milwaukee, Butler, and Cleveland State. They lost in their conference semi-finals to Milwaukee. They are led by playmaker Brandon Wood who average 17.0 points per game and senior Cory Johnson who averages 14.1 points per game.
Iona has benefited this season from the inside play of forward Mike Glover and the point guard work of Scott Machado. Both are juniors so the Gaels should be strong again next season. Glover dominates the "Paint" averaging 18.2 points per game and 10.2 rebounds. Generating dunks and lay-ups off of offensive rebounds, the Bronx, NY native averages making over 60 percent of his shots from the field and had 18 games in which he had more than 10 points and 10 rebounds. Glover is a player to keep your eye on.
Machado averaged over 13 points per game and ranks third in the entire NCAA in assists per game average. The Queens, NY native set an Iona record with 248 assists on the season. Scott is most effective when he is setting up teammates for open shots. He can make the outside three when he has the open shot.
These two private schools last played in a early season tournament in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands in 2008 when Gaels won 75-55. RIder of the MAAC will also play in the event, in the mid-west scheduled for a game Tuesday night at Northern Iowa.
This year the CIT will feature a 24-team tournament with half the field receiving a bye into the quarterfinal round. This tournament was stated in 2009 and last season's event was won by Missouri State of the Missouri Valley Conference.
The tournament stated that the brackets will be reseeded after the first round as 12 teams will advance. with four receiving a bye into the quarterfinals. "Seeding, which will be based on RPI, strength of schedule, conference ranking and geographical location, will determine the byes."
This is the full CollegeInsider.com Schedule:
Buffalo (18-13) @ Quinnipiac (22-9) 7:00 pm
Ohio (18-15) @ Marshall (22-11) 7:00 pm
Furman (22-10) @ East Tennessee State (22-11) 7:00 pm
Jacksonville (19-11) @ East Carolina (18-15) 8:00 pm
Rider (23-10) @ Northern Iowa (19-13) 8:00 pm
North Dakota (19-14) @ Air Force (15-15) 9:00 pm
Northern Arizona (19-12) @ Santa Clara (19-14) 10:00 pm
Portland (20-11) @ Hawaii (18-12) 12:00 am (midnight)
Tennessee Tech (20-12) @ Western Michigan (20-12) 7:00 pm
Iona (22-11) @ Valparaiso (23-11) 8:00 pm
Oral Roberts (19-15) @ SMU (17-14) 8:00 pm
Idaho (18-13) @ San Francisco (17-14) 10:00 pm
2011 CIT CHAMPIONSHIP
Ken Kraetzer covers Iona basketball and West Point football for WVOX 1460 AM in New Rochelle, NY. He can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org