Wednesday, March 1, 2023

March 1 NIT Bracketology

Welcome to March! It's all going to happen. This bracket is updated through all games played on Feb. 28. Honestly, the top of the bracket hasn't changed much at all. There has been a lot of movement in the bottom of the bracket.

Notable moves:

Nebraska has dropped out again because the Cornhuskers are now 15-15 overall with a game at Iowa remaining in their regular season schedule. Nebraska either has to win that game or make the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament to finish .500 overall and neither seem particularly likely. If one were to happen I would definitely bring them back into the bracket.

Florida is back in the bracket thanks to convincingly taking care of business by 10 points at Georgia on Tuesday night. The Gators are struggling a bit down the stretch and lost Colin Castleton for a significant amount of time, but they are also 59th in NET right now with strong resume metrics as well. They are 15-15 overall as well, but their final regular season game is at home against reeling LSU.

Saint Louis is out of the bracket, replaced by Toledo because SLU's metrics are really high (in a bad way). Honestly, those spots are going to end up going to automatic bids anyways (potentially even Toledo if they win the MAC regular season title, though I have Kent St. in there at the moment).

Bracketing nonsense:

Pay attention to the italics here. The unseeded bracketing can cause some stuff that is way off of my S-curve. The final 10 teams in this bracket are in italics to account for automatic bids. That includes for instance UNLV even though they look like a "5" seed. The reason they're playing at Santa Clara comes down to geography and a logjam with Pac-12 opponents in that range (Colorado, Utah, and Washington St.) that can't be placed in the same region as 1 seed Arizona State.

Update: I forgot Liberty in this bracket originally. The Flames are 40th in NET right now, so they have to be considered an at-large contender. The rest of the resume though is pretty weak. Still, either Liberty of Kennesaw St. needs to be in this bracket as the ASUN tournament continues. I've moved the Flames in and dropped UCF from the bracket.

Next bracket update: Whenever necessary, no later than Friday evening going into the weekend.

Last NCAA teams: North Carolina St., Wisconsin, Utah St., Auburn, Memphis, West Virginia, Mississippi St.

NIT Bracket (bubble in italics):

1. North Carolina
U. Liberty
4. Vanderbilt
U. Southern Miss
3. Wake Forest
U. Florida
2. College of Charleston
U. Tulane

1. Arizona St.
U. Cincinnati
4. Santa Clara
3. Oregon
U. Dayton
2. New Mexico
U. Loyola Marymount

1. Michigan
U. Toledo
4. Virginia Tech
U. Seton Hall
3. Penn St.
U. Villanova
2. Clemson

1. Oklahoma St.
U. Utah
4. Drake
U. Colorado
3. Texas Tech
U. Sam Houston St.
2. North Texas
U. Washington St.

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