Nobody cares about these lower tier tournaments until you have a week break in NCAA Tournament action. Now, they are cherished each night on what are paltry betting slates. The CBI best of three championship started Monday, the NIT semis yesterday and the CIT today. Plus, we have baseball getting underway across the country tomorrow. Plenty of action to get you through the lull between the Elite Eight and Final Four.
Let’s dive right in and look at both CIT semifinal matchups.
Illinois-Chicago at Liberty -6 | O/U: 144.5
7 p.m. ET on CBSSN
Liberty will host UIC in a battle of the Flames at the Vines Center. From a scheme perspective, this is a fairly difficult matchup for UIC, which relies on pushing the ball to the rim in transition as often as possible. Per hoop-math.com, UIC attempts shots at the rim and in transition at the 48th- and 42nd-highest rates in the country, respectively. That’s a difficult dual feat to pull off against Liberty, as head coach Ritchie McKay has installed a Virginia-influenced pack line defense in his second go round in Lynchburg. (Although the Flames have mixed in a 3-2 matchup zone of late as well.) Liberty simply doesn’t allow much at the rim (27th lowest FG%) or in transition (54th lowest attempt rate). Consistent jump shooting and precise halfcourt execution is the way to beat the Liberty defense.