We are getting closer to the basketball postseason. It’s the best time of the year because records are thrown out the window and teams will begin their quest toward a deep postseason run. 

The sub-sectional tournament information has been out for about a month, but now we can really start diving into hypotheticals. Let’s look at each sub-sectional to determine where teams will likely be seeded.

Mattoon and Charleston are both in the same sub-sectional for the Troy Triad Sectional. Let’s look at similar opponents, similar wins, similar losses, geographical location, and overall record. Then, we’ll review how the IHSA has traditionally seeded teams. 

The teams are listed below:

  • Carbondale: 4-17 (two losses to Centralia, loss to Herrin)
  • Centralia: 13-6 (Wins over Carbondale and Marion, Loss to Mt. Vernon, T-Town, Effingham)
  • Charleston: 1-15 (Losses to Effingham, Mattoon, T-Town, Taylorville)
  • Effingham: 15-6 (Wins over Taylorville, Charleston, Centralia; Losses to Mattoon, T-Town, Mahomet-Seymour, Paris)
  • Herrin: 9-11 (wins over Carbondale, plays Marion later in the season; loss to Mt. Vernon)
  • Marion: 12-11 (Wins over Carbondale, Loss to Centralia, plays Herrin later)
  • Mattoon: 21-2 (Wins over Charleston, Effingham, T-Town, Olney, Mahomet-Seymour; Only two losses are to Lincoln)
  • Mt. Vernon: 17-5 (Wins over Centralia, Marion, Carbondale, Herrin; Undefeated in the South Seven Conference)
  • Olney: 11-12 (Loss to Mattoon, plays Effingham, Centralia, and Charleston later in the season)

An important note – both Effingham and Herrin are going to be host sites for the IHSA Regional. It’s also important to note there are nine teams total in the sub-sectional. 

Based on past pairings with teams in central Illinois, the IHSA has placed the 1, 4, 5, 8, and 9 seeds together and the 2, 3, 6, and 7 seeds together. 

So we believe teams should be ranked like this in the sub-sectional:

  1. Mattoon
  2. Mt. Vernon
  3. Effingham
  4. Centralia
  5. Marion
  6. Olney
  7. Herrin
  8. Carbondale
  9. Charleston

But … there is an issue. Both Effingham and Herrin are host sites so these pairings are not possible. The IHSA has also placed the 2, 3, 6, 8, and 9 seeds together and then the 1, 4, 5, and 7 seeds together. This would force Mattoon to travel to Herrin and Charleston to go to Effingham. 

The bracket, therefore, would be as follows: 

At Herrin

No. 1 Mattoon vs. No. 7. Herrin

No. 4 Centralia vs. No. 5 Marion

At Effingham

No. 2 Mt. Vernon vs. winner of No. 8 Carbondale vs. No. 9 Charleston

No. 3 Effingham vs. No. 6 Olney

With so many games remaining, teams in the middle of the pack (Effingham, Centralia, Marion, Olney, Herrin) could still move about drastically. These teams have similar opponents in the next few weeks before voting takes place for seedings.

Traveling to Herrin would not be ideal for Mattoon, but it would be necessary for the No. 1 seed. If No. 3 Effingham falls to the No. 4 seed, Mattoon could have a shorter trip. 

We’ll see how it all plays out.