Monday, February 28, 2022

Feb. 28 NIT Bracketology

UPDATE: If you want the most current NIT bracket, please see this page.

What incredible sorcery does Kyle Smith hold over the NET? Washington St. is a middling (at best) Pac-12 team with a strength of record and wins above bubble of 127. The Cougars don't have a single Quad I win. But they're 53rd in KenPom and the NET as I write this on Sunday evening. 

The reason? A nationally worst 358th ranked "Luck" rating. Six of Washington St.'s 13 losses have come by a single possession (with three others by exactly five points). The Cougars have lost two games (at UCLA, Arizona) by double-digit points — though the UCLA one was a 20-point defeat. 

And it's not just the losses. WSU also has some huge wins. They've won nine games by at least 16 points. Those wins came against teams such as Colorado, which you'll see in the bracket below, and Seattle, my projected WAC champion. Put those facts together and the computers (and honestly anyone who has ever seen Smith coach), expect that the Cougars will turn it around. The problem? It might be too late.

Washington St. finishes the season at Oregon St. tonight (Monday) followed by home games against those same Beavers and the Oregon Ducks. Winning all of them will potentially earn the Cougars an NIT berth, as it's hard to envision the committee leaving out a power conference team with a NET below 60. But it'll be a treacherous road to get there. For now though I have the Cougars (and their rather lackluster resume of actual W/L results) sitting all the way down at an 8 seed. The luck will have to turn around fast.

Last NCAA Teams (in order): San Diego St., North Carolina, SMU, Notre Dame, TCU, Indiana, Wyoming, BYU (I also seem to like Creighton more than consensus).

This NIT bracket includes projections to the end of the regular season. Bubble teams are in italics and are in danger of losing their slot to automatic bids (1 seeds that lose in their conference tournaments). I'm currently projected Seattle as the WAC champion, hence why New Mexico St. appears in this bracket.

NIT Bracket

1. Loyola IL
8. Washington St.
4. Texas A&M
5. New Mexico St.
3. Belmont
6. Vanderbilt
2. Dayton
7. Syracuse

1. Memphis
8. Richmond
4. Mississippi St.
5. Santa Clara
3. St. Bonaventure
6. Drake
2. Virginia
7. St. John's

1. VCU
8. Missouri St.
4. Colorado
5. Utah St.
3. Oklahoma
6. Saint Louis
2. Oregon
7. Ohio

1. Rutgers
8. Furman
4. South Carolina
5. UAB
3. Virginia Tech
2. Florida
7. UCF

Want to know if your team might be playing in the CBI or The Basketball Classic? Check out Happening Hoops. As conference tournaments continue the next weeks there will be more regular updates to my NIT projections. I'll be posting the most up-to-date brackets here.


  1. You got to be kidding me about SOUTH CAROLINA . Am a Carolina fan but they do not belong in NIT .

    1. Joe McMahan in Spartanburg , SC on about South Carolina should not go to NIT


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