Monday, March 4, 2024

NIT Bracketology, March 4

The final two spots in this NIT bracket came down to essentially six teams: St. Bonaventure, Rutgers, Loyola Chicago, Yale, Indiana and Maryland. (I'm not completely sold on Bradley or San Francisco either.) If that was the actual decision there are a lot of ways the committee could go. Let's look at those six teams through the lens of some common metrics:

TeamNETSORQ1+Q2 Wins
St. Bonaventure66913
Loyola Chicago90753

Maryland might have the best case overall, but the Terrapins also have four losses to teams in Q3 and Q4 along with the possibility of not achieving a .500 record. If the committee decided to go more predictive based, as it's leaned in the past, it's possible that Yale sneaks in over Rutgers. Maybe the Bulldogs also get a boost if they're co or outright Ivy League champions. If the committee wants to appease the power conferences and get a big name, maybe it's Indiana. (The Hoosiers also have two nice wins lately.)

The Big Ten teams still have quite a bit of basketball to play between the final week of the regular season and the conference tournament. Hopefully that'll help sort all of this out. The basketball is winding down though! Conference tournaments start tonight. That's a wild statement. 

I used to track the mid-majors that might need an automatic bid to the NIT. The page has been changed for this season to just list the No. 1 seeds and whether they would be in consideration for an NIT bid. A few teams like McNeese St. and Samford seem like potential bid stealers. Anyone besides Indiana St. or Drake winning Arch Madness would also have some ripple effects on the brackets.

Once again this week's NIT bracket does not include Richmond or South Florida. They're the automatic bids to the NCAA Tournament from the A-10 and AAC respectively. If they lose in their conference tournaments that would cause some shuffling at the top of the bracket (because Dayton and Florida Atlantic would leave the at-large pool). Also, you won't see St. John's here at all. The Red Storm picked the right time to turn things around and I wouldn't even predict they get sent to Dayton at this point. 

Last 5 NCAA Tournament Teams: Virginia, Wake Forest, Colorado, Colorado St., Villanova

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

1. New Mexico
U. San Francisco
4. Oregon (Pac-12 2)
U. Minnesota
3. Cincinnati (Big 12 1)
2. Utah (Pac-12 1)

1. Mississippi (SEC 2)
U. Florida St.
4. UCF (Big 12 2)
U. Memphis
3. Virginia Tech (ACC 2)
U. James Madison
2. Providence (Big East 1)

1. Iowa (Big Ten 1)
2. Drake
U. Butler
3. Ohio State (Big Ten 2)
U. Kansas St.
2. Texas A&M (SEC 1)
U. N.C. State

1. Seton Hall
U. St. Bonaventure
4. Syracuse
U. Rutgers
3. Xavier (Big East 2)
U. Washington
2. Pittsburgh (ACC 1)
U. Bradley

Others Considered: Loyola Chicago, Yale, Indiana, Maryland
Also Looked At: Massachusetts, Georgia, Boston College, Duquesne, Charlotte, UAB, North Texas, Cornell

1 comment:

  1. Understand the skepticism about San Francisco. Zero Q1 wins. Still: a NET that’s never dropped below the mid-60’s; defeated Minnesota (currently a 7); theee losses to likely NCAA teams (Utah St., Grand Canyon, Boise St.) by a combined 10 pts; single-digit road losses to Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s. They’re a deserving 3 seed in their conference tourney. No one else in the WCC matches their resume.


How ESPN Might Save The NIT

ESPN’s relationships with the NCAA, SEC and ACC might end up saving the NIT. At least that is my initial takeaway after reading a memo that ...