NIT Bracketology: The Confusing Bubbles

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

The bracket is a mess. Maybe not this one, but definitely the NCAA tournament bracket. When I put together an NIT bracket I remind myself that the bottom 8-10 teams aren’t even going to make. Thank goodness. We’re trying to separate incredibly average major conference teams from good mid-majors with no profiles. Not fun.

My guess is that this madness will sort itself out eventually. (Either by automatic bids or by a few mediocre SEC, Big East and Pac-12 teams dropping under .500 in conference play.) The NCAA bubble is going to be exciting too. If you wanted to put St. Mary’s or Arizona St. in the tourney I’d understand your reasoning.

I tried to make sense of it all and what it resulted in is this latest attempt at an NIT bracket. I’ll be doing these weekly now. (Heaven help me!) Not many changes in terms of conference champions. One worth noting: Memphis now leads C-USA. The Tigers have an NCAA at-large profile at this point anyways, but they’d be better off not having to use it. Their counterpart, Southern Miss, really could use a win over Memphis. As of right now they’ve got a nice RPI and nothing.

My Last 8 Into NCAA (in no particular order): St. John’s, Kentucky, North Carolina, Boise State, La Salle, Villanova, Virginia, Baylor

The full NIT bracket:

1. St. Mary’s
8. New Mexico St.
4. Wyoming
5. Northwestern
3. Temple
6. California
2. Saint Joseph’s
7. Illinois St.

1. Indiana State
8. Ohio
4. Xavier
5. Iowa
3. Texas A&M
6. Murray St.
2. Air Force
7. Washington

1. Arizona St.
8. Tennessee
4. Charlotte
5. Maryland
3. Southern Miss
6. Dayton
2. Alabama
7. Rutgers

1. Massachusetts
8. North Dakota St.
4. Stanford
5. Richmond
3. BYU
6. Northern Iowa
2. Arkansas
7. Florida St.

A few notes:

  • I had to shuffle Tennessee around because they were going to end up playing one of their fellow SEC teams in a 2-7 game.
  • There are six Atlantic 10 teams in the bracket. I can’t figure it out. UMass as a 1 seed feels high to me, but maybe?
  • Wyoming-Northwestern would be a good game. I had to mess with the other 4-5 games a bit because of the A-10 madness.
  • Southern Miss is a tough team to seed. So is St. Mary’s. So is Indiana State – in a completely different way.

Did I make a mess of things?

15 thoughts on “NIT Bracketology: The Confusing Bubbles

  1. Vasalos

    UMASS is correct. St. Joe’s is too high and Temple should be a #2 seed. If St. Joe’s beats La Salle this weekend then they’ll move up.

    1. jtemplon Post author

      Temple was right on that 2/3 line as was St. Joseph’s. So I wouldn’t have any problem switching them up. UMASS, unlike almost every other team in this bracket, doesn’t have a really bad loss. That’s something I appreciate with them.

  2. Tim

    I think it is absurd to have Xavier a 4 and OHIO an 8. Being a senior at OHIO I may be a tad biased but I’ve also grown up a fan of Xavier hoops and having seen both teams play multiple times this season I would be willing to bet my house, car, and first born child that OU would absolutely destroy Xavier. I’m confident that OU will win the MAC tourney (again) and render this meaningless though. Seriously though, if they are really an 8 that would make X a 29 or 30 seed. I wish people understood that this Ohio team is the exact same squad that humiliated Georgetown in the 2009 tourney and was a made free throw away from the elite 8 last season, bad OOC losses or not I think having the best point guard in the country counts for something.

    1. jtemplon Post author

      I’m fairly certain that if Ohio and Xavier met on a neutral court the game would be pretty close. That said, like you mentioned, Ohio can win the MAC tournament and make this whole thing moot. The Bobcats could also beat Belmont and Akron in back-to-back games and move way up. Unlike many of the teams on the 7/8 lines here I expect Ohio to be in the final NIT bracket. It’s just the rest of the MAC is a disaster and is really hurting the Bobcats’ overall profile.

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    1. jtemplon Post author

      Check out the comments in the latest NIT bracketology post where I address Evansville. Thanks.

      1. jtemplon Post author

        They’re a good team, but the only NCAA or NIT teams they’ve beaten are SDSU and James Madison. Can’t see any way they make it into the NIT.


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