Thursday, February 1, 2024

February NIT Bracketology

I don't have anything insightful to say (I'm saving up), so a few observations as we head into February: 

1. The NCAA Tournament bubble is really flat right now. There are a lot of teams that have similar types of resumes hanging around the bracket. There's not a huge difference between my seventh-to-last team in, Northwestern, and a few teams at the top of this NIT bracket. That could mean that we're in for a big shakeup coming down the stretch.

2. Butler and Wake Forest are two teams that stood out to me as having a lot of chances to improve their resume down the stretch. Both the Bulldogs and Demon Deacons play a number of top ranked teams in February. For now I've included Wake Forest in the bracket and Butler not because Wake has built a better foundation.

3. A lot of power conference teams are benefitting from this new NET selection logic. I used NET ratings as of the morning of Jan. 31 for this bracket and they helped Washington, Georgia, Iowa, UCF, Ohio St. and Kansas St. all find their way into home games when I think the cases would've been much more complicated without it.

4. Memphis is in absolute freefall.

5. Cornell's NIT resume is better than you think. The Big Red were 79th in NET as of Wednesday morning and 100th in KenPom. They're also 15-3 and just beat Princeton. I still have the Tigers as the Ivy League's NCAA Tournament automatic bid, but either of those squads could potentially make the NIT this season. (Yale is also in the league race, but the Bulldogs have too many non-conference blemishes to make a run at postseason basketball without the automatic bid.)

6. St. Bonaventure had a better KenPom rating than Richmond (81 vs. 82) as of Wednesday night at 9:30 pm. I could see the argument for and the argument against the Bonnies making the NIT. I ultimately left them out despite a strong NET because they haven't beaten a single team in my NCAA or NIT field yet.

NCAA Bubble Last 6: Mississippi, Boise St., Providence, Washington St., Wake Forest, Nebraska

NIT Bracket (autos in bold, bubble in italics):

1. SMU
U. N.C. State
4. Iowa (Big Ten 1)
U. Drake
3. Washington (Pac-12 2)
U. San Francisco
2. Villanova (Big East 1)
U. Syracuse

1. Texas A&M (SEC 1)
U. North Texas
4. Kansas St. (Big 12 2)
U. Pittsburgh
3. Xavier (Big East 2)
U. Indiana
2. Oregon (Pac-12 1)
U. Nevada

1. Virginia Tech (ACC 2)
4. UCF (Big 12 2)
U. Memphis
3. Georgia (SEC 2)
U. James Madison
2. Virginia (ACC 1)
U. Richmond

1. Seton Hall
U. Cornell
4. Ohio St. (Big Ten 2)
U. Florida St.
3. Miami FL
U. Maryland
2. Butler
U. Bradley

Others Considered: Minnesota, Boston College, St. Bonaventure. Charlotte, UNLV, Stanford, Saint Joseph's, UMass, VCU, George Mason

1 comment:

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