Monday, January 16, 2023

Jan. 16 NIT Bracketology

A couple more weeks of action really shook up the NCAA and NIT bracket picture. Part of this is because while the "elite" teams aren't quite as good this season, there is a lot of depth in the 39-50 range of the predictive rankings, which is where the last bubble teams and the top seeds of the NIT can typically be found. Last season for instance teams like Texas A&M (#33 in KenPom), Wake Forest (#35), Dayton (#45), Mississippi St. (#49) and Xavier (#53) were all NIT teams.

This parity means that the bracket looks complete different this time around. A few teams in here are projected NCAA Tournament teams at the moment, but this projection is for the end of the season. That's why some power conference teams with poor power ratings slip into this bracket instead (ahem, Kentucky and LSU, ahem).

Last 8 NCAA Tournament: West Virginia, Wisconsin, Memphis, Penn St., Texas A&M, Virginia Tech, Northwestern, Michigan

Not Projected to be .500: Villanova, Butler, Vanderbilt, South Carolina, Washington, Washington St., Notre Dame, Colorado St., Wichita St.

NIT Bracket (bubble teams in italics):

1. Arizona St.
U. Loyola Marymount
U. Georgia
3. Mississippi St.
2. Utah St.
U. BYU (dropped a line for geography)

 1. Indiana
U. Syracuse
4. Utah
U. St. John's
3. Texas Tech
U. Sam Houston St.
2. UCF
U. Charlotte

1. Pittsburgh
U. Saint Louis
4. Seton Hall
U. Oregon
3. Florida
U. North Texas
2. Oklahoma St.
U. Cincinnati

1. Wake Forest
4. Kentucky
U. Colorado
3. Maryland
2. USC
U. Santa Clara

Others Considered: Duquesne, Richmond, Hofstra, Tulane, Grand Canyon, Indiana St., UC Santa Barbara, San Francisco, Drake

Sunday, January 1, 2023

Jan. 1 Bracketology

Happy New Year! The new year brings conference play. It also brings a solidification of the college basketball postseason picture. Quite honestly though, there are still so many questions to answer. Northwestern (what? omg! what?) has rocketed up the bubble picture. The Big 12 has every eligible team thinking they're making the NCAA Tournament and the Mountain West has a ton of teams that could be playing in the NCAAs or NIT depending on how the next few months go.

It means that there is a lot of uncertainty in the bracket right now. I was actually quite surprised how much my brackets and rankings disagreed with something like T-Ranketology right now. There is a lot of basketball still to be played.

Note: The NCAA used "unseeded" teams last season after the No. 4 seeds. I'm mimicking that style in this bracket, though teams right now are still basically in seed order.

Also, there are some fun teams included in the bottom of this bracket. I hope squads like Sam Houston St., UAB and Loyola Marymount are given due consideration if they're close at the end of the season.

Last 8 NCAA Teams: New Mexico, Kansas St., Penn St., Iowa St., Northwestern, Michigan St., Utah St., Mississippi St.

NIT Bracket (bubble teams in italics):

1. Iowa
U. Drake
4. Clemson
U. Oregon
3. Seton Hall
U. Texas A&M
2. Pittsburgh
U. Cincinnati

1. Utah
U. Sam Houston St.
4. Nevada
3. LSU
6. St. John's
7. Santa Clara

1. NC State
U. Southern Miss
4. UCF
U. Mississippi
3. Colorado
2. Boise St.
U. Villanova

1. Wake Forest
U. Georgia
4. USC
U. Michigan
3. Florida
6. North Texas
2. Arizona St.
U. Loyola Marymount

How ESPN Might Save The NIT

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