Confusing process leads to Terriers hosting Central Michigan on Friday.
In the ever-changing and often-puzzling postseason men’s basketball event called the College Insiders Tournament, it was both on Tuesday.
Wofford, which did not submit a bid to play host in the pay-for-play tournament, ended up with a home game at 7 on Friday night against Central Michigan at Jerry Richardson Indoor Stadium.
That was after Terriers head coach Mike Young said Monday he was told by committee representatives that Wofford would travel to the winner of Liberty against North Carolina A&T, the only other Southeast teams in the 20-team event for mid-majors, to keep things as regional as possible for travel expense purposes.
Instead, Central Michigan, which beat Fort Wayne 94-89 on Monday night, will travel to Spartanburg for a second-round game although Eastern Michigan is also in the tournament. Liberty, which won its first-round game, 65-52, does not yet have a second-round opponent. There are still first-round games to be played Wednesday and Thursday. Wofford was one of four teams that had a bye.
“I don’t know how they set it up,” Wofford athletics director Richard Johnson said. “I believe we ended up with a bye because of the RPI (ratings percentage index). But I can’t tell you definitively that’s why we got one and I can’t tell you why people are playing who they are playing. I just don’t know how they do the matchups.”
Bids for home games reportedly cost about $35,000 in the first two rounds, $50,000 for quarterfinals and $75,000 for the semifinals. Whatever money schools make on top of that, they keep. But they invariably take losses.
“We did not bid for a home game,” Johnson said. “But we agreed because they got in a bind for whatever reason. At the end of the day, they came in and offered us a home game. They asked us to do it and we did. We said, ‘All right, we’ll help you out.’ But that was only after our people guaranteed me we could do it without a net loss.”
In other games Monday, Drake beat Abilene Christian, 80-73, and San Diego beat Hartford, 88-72. The first round continues Wednesday with Saint Francis at Illinois-Chicago, Niagara at Eastern Michigan and Lamar at Texas-San Antonio. On Thursday, UL-Monroe plays at Austin Peay. Other teams receiving first-round byes were Northern Colorado, Portland State and Sam Houston State.