NOTE: NIT Bracketology is updated daily now. You can find the latest here.
Championship fortnight is here! The best four weekends of the college basketball season are upon us. The next two weeks will be pressure packed with teams trying to get into the postseason and then we’ll get two excellent weekends of action.
Which teams are in the best position as we head into the final week of the regular season (or the postseason)? Let’s take a look at the NIT bracket.
First of all, my last six into the NCAA tournament: Kentucky, St. Mary’s, Virginia, Temple, La Salle, Tennessee
My first four out the NIT: Purdue, Dayton, New Mexico St., Utah St.
If you want to see the potential auto-bids for the NIT I’m tracking all postseason bids here.
This week’s bracket. It includes all games through Sunday, March 3. Note: Unlike past brackets this time I have attempted to create logical geographical match ups for the lower seeds if possible. So we’re doing some real bracketing here.
1. Arizona St.
5. Northern Iowa
2. Iowa St.
7. Florida St.
4. Saint Joseph’s
5. Southern Miss
6. Texas A&M
8. Southern Cal
5. Brigham Young
6. Indiana St.
2. Air Force
4. Ole Miss
3. St. John’s
7. Georgia Tech
Northwestern and Southern Cal are by far the two most tenuous teams in this bracket. The toughest thing with teams like Ohio and Detroit is that neither has had many opportunities to get good wins. KenPom, while not necessarily part of the evaluative process, suggests that both Detroit and Ohio can hang with NIT quality teams. (It also thinks I’m really underrating Illinois St. and North Dakota St. the two best mid-majors not mentioned here or in the NCAA bracket.) I’d like to see both teams included in the bracket if they don’t win the Horizon League or MAC automatic bids to the NCAAs, but it isn’t a given.
The top of this is an absolute mess. I don’t think Tennessee deserves to be in the NCAA tournament right now, but their resume is less ugly than their fellow contenders. We’ll see what happens down the stretch.