Besides the inclusion of Long Beach State as an automatic bid the bottom of the bracket isn’t changing much tonight. What is changing is the top. Based on today’s set of games and a complete re-evaluation of the NCAA bubble I’ve come up with a new Last Four In and top two seed lines in the NIT. Not a ton has changed, but there are definitely some tweaks.
Maryland is on the 1-seed line, but the Terrapins are one of three teams that control their own destiny (along with Alabama and Massachusetts). I must say, I reserve the right to change my mind about where Ole Miss and La Salle fit into this mess. Still, if the Rebels win in the SEC semifinals on Saturday it’d be hard to leave them out of the NCAA tournament.
I still don’t know how people have Middle Tennessee anywhere near the bracket, but stranger things have happened. If the committee lets them in it’ll be a win for mid-majors everywhere and I’ll be in full support because it’ll signal that the committee used something besides RPI (either Pomeroy or the infamous “eye test” or Sagarin or BPI or whatever) to make a bubble decision.
Last Four In NCAA Tournament: Tennessee, La Salle, St. Mary’s, Ole Miss
Auto-Bids Still Playing: Montana (Big Sky), Akron (MAC), Stephen F. Austin (Southland), Southern (SWAC)
Last Six Out of NIT: Denver, Richmond, Wyoming, Evansville, Detroit, Ohio
Games to Watch: Southern Miss vs. Memphis, Alabama vs. Florida, Ole Miss vs. Vanderbilt, Maryland vs. UNC, Massachusetts vs. VCU, auto-bid championship games (mostly at night)
NIT Bracket (auto-bids in bold):
4. Saint Joseph’s
5. Louisiana Tech
6. Northern Iowa
7. Charleston Southern
8. Robert Morris
4. Air Force
5. Indiana St.
2. Middle Tennessee
8. Norfolk St.
4. Southern Miss
5. Florida St.
2. Arizona St.
7. Long Beach St.
6. St. John’s
7. Stony Brook