Monday, February 26, 2024

NIT Bracketology, Feb. 26

This latest NIT bracket comes with a few notes:

1. These teams are automatic NCAA qualifiers for me: Utah St., Richmond, South Florida, Indiana St., Saint Mary's, Yale, Samford, Grand Canyon, Louisiana Tech. If any one of them were not the automatic bid they would be part of this discussion.

2. The inclusion of Richmond as the A-10 champion and South Florida as the American champion pushed Dayton and Florida Atlantic into the at-large pool. This had a bunch of butterfly effects later on.

3. I ended up with three Big East teams as NIT No. 1 seeds. This is an entirely plausible scenario and it creates quite the bracketing headache.

4. Princeton got screwed here in implied seeding because of the NIT's geographic component. The Tigers have a good enough resume to have a home game themselves and shouldn't be playing a road game at the No. 1 overall seed, but that's how the match ups worked out.

5. Xavier is a razor's edge with whether they'll finish .500 or above. It basically comes down to if the Musketeers win at Butler or against Marquette at home during the final week of the regular season. (Assuming they do the easy stuff and beat DePaul and Georgetown.) If they were to fall below .500, that'd probably create drama at MSG (where they'd need to make a run) or open up another spot in the NIT.

I'll try and update more often now that we're less than three weeks out from Selection Sunday.

Last 8 NCAA Tournament: Colorado, Virginia, New Mexico, Nevada, Wake Forest, Michigan St., Nebraska, Texas

NIT Bracket (automatic bids in bold, bubble in italics):

1. Villanova (Big East 1)
U. Princeton
4. James Madison
U. Memphis
3. Cincinnati (Big 12 1)
2. Pittsburgh (ACC 1)
U. Minnesota

1. St. John's (Big East 2)
U. St. Bonaventure
4. Virginia Tech (ACC 2)
U. Washington
3. Oregon (Pac-12 2)
U. San Francisco
2. Texas A&M (SEC 1)
U. Syracuse

1. Utah (Pac-12 1)
4. Butler
U. Drake
3. Kansas St.
2. Iowa (Big Ten 1)
U. Loyola IL

1. Providence
U. Maryland
4. UCF (Big 12 2)
3. Ohio St. (Big Ten 2)
U. Xavier
2. Ole Miss (SEC 2)
U. N.C. State

Others Considered: Bradley, Florida St., Boston College, North Texas, George Mason, UMass, Miami FL, Rutgers, Penn St., Georgia, Charlotte, UAB, UCLA, Southern Illinois, Cornell, UC San Diego, UNCW

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