Monday, March 6, 2023

March 6, 1:30 PM NIT Bracket Notes

I spent my lunch break looking at the cut line for the NCAA Tournament and I have decided that I slightly overreacted to Providence's resume, at least in light of Rutgers losing at home to Northwestern last night.

Rutgers needed a victory to offset its particularly bad losses, but the Scarlet Knights have just not been playing that well lately. Their Strength of Record is now 62, which is very far off what you'd want to see from an at-large bid. When looking at resume comparisons on Bart Torvik's excellent site almost all (9 of 10) of Rutgers' closest comps were left out of the NCAA Tournament.

So Rutgers is now a No. 1 seed in the NIT. They're joined by two mid-majors that have the potential to get screwed by the committee — North Texas and College of Charleston — and a league foe that they recently defeated but looks better and better - Penn State.

For those wondering, I think there are approximately nine true "bubble" slots left in the NCAA tournament. The teams I currently have filling them are: Utah St., Nevada, Illinois, North Carolina St., Pittsburgh, Providence, Arizona St., Wisconsin, and Mississippi State. Obviously all of those teams will continue to play games this week. It's often been noted that conference tournaments don't matter much for selection and seeding, but that's definitely not the case for the NIT (or the bubble I believe). So I'll be watching closely this week.

The new bracket is out. I'll update it again tonight if any of the No. 1 seeds in action fall in their conference tournaments. (This is pretty likely.)

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