NAIA Ramblings of Jason Dannelly from 11/18/2006: Thoughts on Potential Second Round Match Ups

The biggest question mark would appear to be who can fly into Helena, Montana the easiest? The airport with a team still playing would be Saint Xavier of Chicago. Bethel TN could potentially fly from Memphis, TN a flight their opponent is very familiar with. Next up would be Morningside and Northwestern flying from Sioux Falls, Sioux City, or Omaha.

But if you fly SXU to Helena you take several relatively short bus trips and make them longer. Bethel TN would probably have to travel the 513 miles to Fort Wayne, IN while Northwestern would likely travel 415 miles to Marshall. That would leave Morningside with a short trip to Sioux Falls which I feel is inevitable regardless of who is flown to Helena, MT. Essentially by flying SXU to Chicago there would be two 400 plus mile bus trips instead of one if SXU travels to Fort Wayne.

The order of importance for selecting match ups in the Championship Series goes:

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  • Geographic Location
  • Financial Considerations
  • Final Rating

Does Northwestern or Morningside fit the “Geographic Location” criteria? They would technically be the closest teams to Helena, MT. But both teams have to fly to Helena, MT.

So does it solely come to financial considerations? Or would the NAIA decide to spend a little more money than needed to send teams that would be considered better match ups (highest seeds vs. lowest seeds)?


Also consider the fact we are heading into Thanksgiving weekend.  Travel from many airports across the country will already be tougher than usual.

There are plenty of questions to be answered, but if my first prediction posted above does not come to fruition, I would put my best bet on the following pairings.

#8 Bethel TN @ #4 Carroll (Plane)
#13 Morningside @ #2 Sioux Falls (75 miles)
#6 Northwestern @ #5 Missouri Valley (423 miles)
#9 St. Xavier @ #1 St. Francis (170 miles)


#9 St. Xavier @ #4 Carroll (Plane)
#13 Morningside @ #2 Sioux Falls (75 miles)
#6 Northwestern @ #5 Missouri Valley (423 miles)
#8 Bethel TN @ #1 St. Francis (170 miles)

Remember these are not official pairing, just some random guesses from a guy who follows the stuff kind of closely. We’ll see you tomorrow at 8:30 AM CST!

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