Monday, November 6, 2023

Opening Day NIT Bracketology

College basketball season is here! Everyone is celebrating in their own way. Mine? Creating a new NIT bracket. This bracket follows the new rules announced by the committee last month. The 12 automatic bids that were given protected seeds are bolded. The italics represent teams on the bubble.

One of the biggest challenges with this bracket is that there were a number of Mountain West teams that made their way in after I looked at the preseason KenPom and T-Rank predictions. Putting that many teams from the same conference into the bracket with only one having a top seed (Nevada as a 4) is a hassle. There's some mid-major flavor here. But I'm not assuming teams like Liberty, Drake, Grand Canyon, Charleston or Yale are going to lose their conference tournaments. Those are the types of teams though that could also enter the at-large conversation in the far distant future.

Opening Day NIT Bracket (protected in BOLD, bubble in italics)

1. N.C. State (ACC #1)
8. UNLV
4. Cincinnati (Big 12 #2)
5. Seton Hall
3. Washington (Pac 12 #2)
6. Boise St.
2. Oklahoma (Big 12 #1)
7. Duquesne

1. Providence (Big East #1)
8. Washington St.
4. Nebraska (Big Ten #2)
5. Oklahoma St.
3. LSU (SEC #2)
6. UAB
2. Virginia Tech (ACC #2)
7. VCU

1. St. John's (Big East #2)
8. St. Bonaventure
4. Rutgers
5. West Virginia
3. New Mexico
6. Pittsburgh
2. Iowa (Big Ten #1)
7. Loyola Chicago

1. Utah (Pac 12 #1)
8. Stephen F. Austin
4. Nevada
5. Xavier
3. Michigan
6. Colorado St.
2. Missouri (SEC #1)
7. Wake Forest

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