It’s once again time to for NIT Bracketology. I’ll note right from the outset here that it’s way too early to do this bracket. There are way too many unknowns. It might be better if I was trying to predict a bracket, like Team Rankings is doing this season, but this bracket is as if the season ended today. The resumes bleed together and the non-conference schedule hasn’t done enough to separate teams. So take all of this with a grain of salt, it’ll get better when I do the next week in two weeks.
Here is my first crack at this season’s NIT bracket. I took the current conference leaders from Ken Pomeroy’s site with a few liberties.
- I made North Dakota St. the Summit Leader instead of Western Illinois.
- I made Murray State the current Ohio Valley Conference champion.
Last Eight At-Larges In: Florida St., BYU, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Boise St., Oklahoma St., Indiana St., Belmont
It’s worth noting that the final 8-10 at-large spots in the NIT are typically absorbed by automatic bids. Last season there were 11 teams that received automatic bids to the NIT, though a number of them would’ve been in anyways. I haven’t done any scrubbing of the seeds or the match ups. I followed my S-curve exactly starting with No. 1 Iowa St. and moving down the list. So yes, that La Salle vs. Villanova match up happened by random chance.
1. Iowa St.
4. Illinois St.
3. La Salle
7. Georgia Tech
5. St. John’s
3. St. Mary’s
1. Saint Joseph’s
4. Santa Clara
3. Louisiana Tech
6. Southern Miss
7. Texas A&M
4. Northern Iowa
5. Seton Hall
7. South Florida
One thing I noticed while going through this exercise is there aren’t very many mid-majors that have compiled strong resumes through non-conference play that aren’t expected to be in the NCAA tournament. It’s worth noting that UIC, Fairfield, George Mason, Bradley, Stony Brook (as Vermont is current AE champion), Western Kentucky and Northwestern St. were all considered as well, but fell short for one reason or another. Thoughts? Complaints? Do you know how to rank Big East teams? Let me know in the comments.