Sunday, February 19, 2023

Feb. 19 NIT Bracketology

The end of the season is coming upon us really fast! Teams though are still rapidly rising and falling through the postseason picture. This latest bracket is a reflection of that fact. We welcome Texas Tech back to the bracket. Florida is falling and its best player is out for the season. Clemson is crashing (and lost to one of the worst high-major teams in the country). 

There are teams though coming to take the spots. One interesting one to watch is Nebraska. The Cornhuskers are now 14-14 and 7-10 in the Big Ten after a 3-game winning streak. If Fred Hoiberg's squad can find a way to take down Minnesota and Michigan St. in their next two games they'd find a spot in this bracket. 

Another hot team is Tulane. The Green Wave are 17-7 and have swept Memphis and won five straight games (including three in overtime). Now they've got a soft schedule, including a home-and-home against East Carolina down the stretch. There's not a ton of upside, but Tulane looks likely to secure an NIT spot.

It seems unlikely to me that all four Mountain West Conference at-large candidates will make the NCAA Tournament, but that's how I have it breaking right now. The least impressive resume probably belongs to Utah St. The Aggies are projected by Bart Torvik to have just one Quad I win, but they are projected to be 8-1 against Quad II. I think it'll be close (obviously) and that could give the NIT a nice West Coast flavor in the higher seed lines.

Note: I flipped Santa Clara and UAB in this bracket for geographic reasons. (They're close anyways.)

Last 8 NCAA: USC, Boise St., Nevada, New Mexico, Utah St., Auburn, Memphis, West Virginia

NIT Bracket (bubble in italics):

1. Mississippi St.
U. Cincinnati
4. Wake Forest
3. Michigan
U. Bradley
2. Oregon
U. Santa Clara

1. Wisconsin
U. Toledo
4. Colorado
U. Florida
3. Clemson
U. Vanderbilt
2. Seton Hall
U. Dayton

1. North Carolina
U. Furman
4. Arizona St.
U. Sam Houston St.
3. Texas Tech
U. Saint Louis
2. Penn St.

1. North Texas
U. Marshall
4. Utah
U. Tulane
3. College of Charleston
2. Virginia Tech
U. Loyola Marymount

Considered: St. John's, BYU, James Madison, Louisiana Lafayette, UC Santa Barbara, Indiana St., Montana St., Akron, Syracuse

Not Projected To Be .500: Oklahoma, Nebraska, Ohio St., Villanova, Butler, Washington St.

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