NIT Bracketology: Hurting Your Chances

NOTE: The latest NIT Bracketology can always be found from the top link here. It is updated every Sunday.

Injuries are hitting teams hard this season. Whether it’s Kentucky losing Nerlens Noel for the season or Providence playing the early part of the season without Vincent Council (including the Penn State and Boston College losses) there are injuries popping up all over this week’s NIT bracket.

They’re certainly impacting seeding as well. My guess is that a team like Kentucky is going to slide even further if the loss at Tennessee is the signal of a larger trend. Teams hanging onto the bottom of the bracket, like Northwestern, are going to be hurt by the fact that they’re decimated by injuries as well. I dropped Rutgers off partly because the Scarlet Knights’ profile just doesn’t support hanging onto the bottom of the bracket, but also minus Eli Carter who knows what will happen.

All of this has caused quite a mess. Thanks to Patriot League debacle this past weekend Bucknell now trails Lehigh in the standings and thus the Bison appear in this NIT bracket. I’d still bet on Mike Muscala and company, but the Mountain Hawks have the head-to-head win and thus are the automatic bid until Monday night when they play again.

You’ll also notice that the USC Trojans have snuck into the bottom of the bracket. They’re 12-13 overall right now, so this is probably my most controversial pick. Still, since replacing Kevin O’Neill the Trojans have some big wins and a 7-6 record in Pac-12 play, which includes a win over UCLA. There are also no astoundingly bad losses on the resume. In case you’re wondering the last eight teams out of the NIT for me were: New Mexico St., Rutgers, Dayton, Murray St., Eastern Kentucky, Georgia, UTEP and Utah St. I’d also caution everyone and note that teams on the seven and eight seed lines are probably not going to make the bracket because of auto-bids for conference champions.

Enough preamble. Here is this week’s bracket:

1. Air Force
8. Detroit
4. Saint Joseph’s
5. Texas A&M
3. Indiana St.
6. Northwestern
2. Temple
7. Xavier

1. Massachusetts
8. Northwestern St.
4. Wyoming
5. Southern Miss
3. Iowa
6. Washington
2. Boise St.
7. Illinois St.

1. Kentucky
8. USC
4. St. Mary’s
5. Richmond
3. Virginia
6. Ohio
2. Arkansas
7. Providence

1. Maryland
8. LSU
4. Northern Iowa
5. BYU
3. Tennessee
6. Bucknell
2. St. John’s
7. Florida St.

10 thoughts on “NIT Bracketology: Hurting Your Chances

  1. Jackson Rich

    If Byu beats saint marys and gonzaga put byu as a number one seed. if they just beat one, put byu at a number 2 or 3 seed.

    1. jtemplon Post author

      Since what BYU’s profile currently lacks is quality wins beating either and/or both of those teams would most certainly help their cause. They still have chances to much up the bracket.

  2. jwiseman

    Of the 5 A-10 teams you’ve picked to go to the NIT, how do you not have Charlotte? In the A-10 standings, they are currently ahead of all of these teams, except Xavier, who they beat.

    But Saint Joseph’s 14-10, (5-6 in A-10)??? They have one win over Notre Dame, 2nd game of season, And have lost to everyone above them in the A-10 standings except Xavier and Temple.

    And Massachusetts 16-8, (6-5 in A-10)??? Their best win of the entire season is against LaSalle… They also lost to Charlotte.

    And Richmond 15-11, (5-6 in A-10)??? Their best win came at home, in overtime, against VCU.

    Charlotte isn’t much better, but they are better. They have an easier end to their schedule as well.

  3. jwiseman

    I forgot to mention that Charlotte has a higher RPI than all of the teams listed except Temple, who is 2 spots ahead of them.

    1. jtemplon Post author

      Sorry, I should’ve been more explicit here. Charlotte isn’t in the NIT bracket because they were one of my last teams into the NCAA tournament. When I evaluated the 49ers’ resume I thought they deserved to be the NCAAs instead of some of the teams you see on the 1 and 2 seed lines.

      I apologize for the confusion. I should’ve put my last 8 into the NCAAs. I normally do that, but after this long preamble I decided to save some space. So yes, I agree with you. Charlotte’s resume is much better than all of the other A-10 teams presented here.

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  6. spencer

    Why is EKU out of the question since we hung in with WVU and SU in the early part of the season and we have a 23 win season.?

    1. jtemplon Post author

      EKU isn’t out of the question, but they basically have no good wins. They’ve only played 4 Top 100 RPI teams and they lost to all of them. Their best win is over Murray State, which isn’t saying much and EKU has dropped two really bad games to NC A&T and UT-Martin. Outside of Belmont the OVC isn’t great and EKU blew both of those chances, so they don’t have a resume building win to hang their hat on.


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