NOTE: NIT Bracketology is updated daily now. You can find the latest here.
This bracket will be updated at least twice more, but it’s starting to come into focus now. The auto-bids are starting to take some of the fun out of the bottom of the bracket and also depress me (see: Stony Brook).
There are also some teams being floated around for the NIT that I just can’t fathom getting a bid. For instance, Lehigh and Murray State. Both of those schools are nice stories, but since I don’t see C.J. McCollum returning anytime soon and the Racers have seven losses to teams outside of the Top 100 in RPI (including four to 200+ RPI teams) there’s no logical reason to put them into the field.
One of the biggest questions around Selection Sunday is going to be what the committee does with Middle Tennessee State. Some people will point to Iona last season and say that the Blue Raiders deserve to be in Dayton for a play-in at-large game, but the resume doesn’t justify it. I have MTSU as a 2 seed in the NIT in my initial bracket with Sunday’s results considered and I think that’s being generous. For instance here are two teams’ resume side by side:
Team 1: 0-6 vs. Top 50, 2-2 vs. 51-100 (BW: 89), 18-3 vs. 101+ (WL: 171)
Team 2: 0-2 vs. Top 50, 2-1 vs. 51-100 (BW: 56), 26-2 vs. 101+ (WL: 125)
Profile two is probably a little stronger (and you know that’s MTSU’s), but not by much. Profile one belongs to BYU, a team I’ve consistently had in the 4-5 range of the bracket. (And I’m not changing it this time.)
So why do I have MTSU as a two seed? Well, the Blue Raiders did beat Ole Miss and by the eye test they’re a darn good basketball team. Then again, if Stony Brook had beaten any of the major conference teams they lost to during the non-conference season we’d be saying the same thing. (Remember all your postseason bid tracking information is available here.)
Last 6 Into NCAAs: Boise St., California, Kentucky, St. Mary’s, Tennessee, Iowa St.
First 7 Out of NIT: Florida St., LSU, Texas A&M, Washington, Indiana St., Purdue, Northwestern St.
NIT Bracket (bold is auto-bid):
8. Charleston Southern
5. St. John’s
3. Arizona St.
2. Middle Tennessee St.
1. Ole Miss
4. Southern Miss
6. Northern Iowa
7. New Mexico St.
8. Robert Morris
3. Saint Joseph’s
7. Georgia Tech
4. Air Force
5. Brigham Young
7. Stony Brook