OK, so its not the NCAA tournament.
But something must be said about the fact that four Philadelphia college basketball teams are playing in postseason tournaments on the same night. And to top it off, theyll all be at home with Drexel, La Salle and Saint Josephs welcoming teams for the National Invitation Tournament and Penn hosting a College Basketball Invitational game Wednesday.
Can you feel the madness in the air? Sort of?
Well, were here to help get you excited with a breakdown of all four postseason games in Philly:
Central Florida (22-10, No. 6 seed) at Drexel (27-6, No. 3 seed)
NIT First RoundDaskalakis Athletic Center, 7:15 p.m., ESPN3
Setting the scene: Much to the chagrin of Drexel fans and even many national college basketball commentators who seemed to be in the schools corner the Dragons were not included in the NCAA tournament field. Drexels consolation prize was an automatic bid to the NIT, which it secured by winning the regular-season Colonial Athletic Association title. Central Florida finished tied for third in Conference USA and booked the NIT spot in part because of Top 50 wins over UConn, Memphis and Marshall. The winner of this game meets either St. Joes or Northern Iowa in the second round.
Postseason history: This is Drexels sixth trip to the NIT but the Dragons have lost all five of their previous games (1997, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007). This is Central Floridas first-ever NIT berth, although the Knights qualified for the postseason last year with a trip to the CBI.
Series history: The two teams have only met once with Drexel defeating UCF, 83-72, on Dec. 22, 1989. This is UCFs first game in the state of Pennsylvania.
Key matchup: With beefy forwards Daryl McCoy, Dartaye Ruffin and Samme Givens banging down low, Drexel is a dominant inside team. But UCF has a dominant inside player in its own right in 6-foot-9, 245-pound forward Keith Clanton, who averages a team-leading 14.6 points and 8.1 rebounds per game. If Clanton can neutralize Drexels inside advantage, UCF may be able to use high-scoring guards Marcus Jordan (Michael Jordans son) and Isaiah Sykes to stay even with the Dragons and maybe spring the upset.
Quotable: After we found out who we were playing, I think everyone was in a better mood. We realized we got a home game. We really have a great chance of winning, looking at the brackets. Drexel guard Chris Fouch
Prediction: The moods of these teams will be vastly different as Drexel is still likely bummed about its NCAA snub while UCF is probably elated about its first NIT berth. But while it may be hard for the Dragons to completely shake off their disappointment, theyre not going to spoil their postseason trip with their first loss at home this season, especially with a potential rematch with St. Joes at stake.
Drexel 71, UCF 68
Northern Iowa (19-13, No. 7 seed) at St. Joes (20-13, No. 2 seed)
NIT First RoundHagan Arena, 7:15 p.m., ESPN3
Setting the scene: An NCAA bubble team for a good chunk of the season, St. Joes lost three of its final five games including a quarterfinal defeat to eventual champion St. Bonaventure in the Atlantic 10 tournament to fall into the NIT. Northern Iowa finished tied for third in the competitive Missouri Valley conference with five other squads, behind only NCAA teams Wichita State and Creighton. The winner of this game faces the winner of the Drexel-UCF game.
Postseason history: This is the Hawks first postseason bid since 2008 and the 10th under head coach Phil Martelli. Overall, its the 15th NIT appearance for St. Joes, which owns a 16-15 record in the tourney. This marks UNIs first-ever appearance in the NIT but its also the Panthers fourth straight postseason berth. They made the NCAA tournament in 2009 and 2010 and the CIT last year.
Series history: This is the first-ever meeting between the two schools.
Key matchup: St. Joes will need to pay close attention to the three-point line as 36.4 percent of UNIs scoring comes from behind the arc (a higher percentage than all but 16 teams in the nation) and five Panthers are shooting better than 40 percent from distance. But the Hawks have a dangerous weapon of their own in guard Langston Galloway, the nations third best three-point shooter. Whichever team does a better job shooting and stopping the three will likely emerge victorious.
Quotable: The number one thing that jumps out is they only give up 61 points a game. They are not good at defense; they are tremendous at defense. St. Joes head coach Phil Martelli
Prediction: Like Drexel, the homecourt advantage is a huge deal for St. Joes, which has only lost three games at Hagan Arena this season. And the Hawks already defeated UNIs rival Creighton. They should be able to beat another team from the Missouri Valley Wednesday night.
St. Joes 67, Northern Iowa 62
Minnesota (19-14, No. 6 seed) at La Salle (21-12, No. 3 seed)
NIT First RoundTom Gola Arena, 7 p.m., ESPN2
Setting the scene: Despite being picked to finish 13th in the Atlantic 10 in the preseason poll, La Salle ended up tying for fifth place in the competitive league, before winning a game in the conference tourney to make sure it received an NIT bid. Minnesota tied for ninth in the Big 10 with a 6-12 record but made the postseason because of its tough strength of schedule that comes with playing in arguably the nations best conference. The winner faces second-seeded Miami or seventh-seeded Valparaiso.
Postseason history: This is La Salles first trip to the postseason in 20 years but the tradition-rich program has plenty of history in both the NCAAs and NIT. For La Salle, which has made 11 overall appearances in the NIT, this is the 25th anniversary of the 1987 team that reached the NIT finals and the 60th anniversary of the 1952 team that won the whole tourney. Minnesota is making its 14th appearance in the NIT, and the Gophers are 18-11 in non-vacated NIT games, including the 1993 championship.
Series history: In the only matchup between the two schools, Minnesota picked up a 92-87 win over La Salle in the 1965 Quaker City Tournament at the Palestra.
Key matchup: Minnesotas Andre Hollins rolls into Philly on a serious tear. The freshman guard was named to the All-Big Ten tournament team after averaging 23.0 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists in two games. La Salle also has some talented guards in Earl Pettis, Tyreek Duren, Sam Mills and Ramon Galloway, and with both teams being relatively young, whichever teams ballhandlers stay the most composed should have the edge.
Quotable: We really talk about the La Salle history as a point of pride. Youre talking about a national championship program, a two-time Final Four program, an NIT championship program. The tradition here is unbelievable and we take it very seriously. And were trying to restore that prestige. La Salle head coach John Giannini
Prediction: The Explorers have certainly proven to be a good team and own some quality wins. But hungry for his first postseason win at Minnesota, head coach Tubby Smith will have the Gophers ready for this tournament and whatever La Salle throws at them.
Minnesota 79, La Salle 75
Quinnipiac (18-13) at Penn (19-12)
CBI First RoundThe Palestra, 7:30 p.m.
Setting the scene: Penn fell short of an Ivy League championship when it lost to rival Princeton in its regular-season finale. The Quakers finished second in the league and are one of four teams representing the Ivies in the postseason. Quinnipiac finished fifth in the Northeast Conference and lost to league champ LIU Brooklyn in the conference tournament semifinals. The winner of the game moves on to face Delaware or two-time defending national runner-up Butler in the second round.
Postseason history: This is the first postseason appearance since 2007 for the Quakers, who have competed in 23 NCAA tournaments and one NIT (1981). This is their first appearance in the CBI, which only began in 2008. Quinnipiac made the NIT in 2010 and the CIT in 2011 but has never won a postseason game.
Series history: The Quakers and Bobcats have met once before with Penn prevailing, 74-60, in the 2004 Preseason NIT.
Key matchup: Quinnipiac owns the second best rebounding margin in the nation, while the undersized Quakers were one of the worst rebounding teams in the Ivy League. Luckily for Penn, the Bobcats are banged-up, but the Quakers will still need at least one of their interior players to gobble up some boards.
Quotable: We are looking forward to extending the season a few more weeks, and we are especially excited to play the first game of the CBI in front of our fans. Penn head coach Jerome Allen
Prediction: For a program thats been to so many NCAA tournaments, playing in the CBI is certainly not what the Quakers had in mind. But Penn is a better team than Quinnipiac and Ivy League Player of the Year Zack Rosen will certainly be the best player on the court. Look for Rosen and the rest of Penns seniors to extend their college careers at least a few more days.
Penn 77, Quinnipiac 64
Email Dave Zeitlin at firstname.lastname@example.org.