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NIT Bracketology: Feb. 24

Note: It’s Monday so there is a new NIT bracket available here.

The NCAA bubble is becoming more clear by the day and it’s influencing what’s going on in the NIT bracket below. Right now there appear to be about 15 teams fighting for eight NCAA spots depending on who you ask. The seven teams that don’t make it will probably earn higher seeds in the NIT. (Though not necessarily always one and two seeds.)

NIT logoI’ve moved BYU into the NCAA tournament after the Cougars’ victory over Gonzaga. There are some ugly losses on the resume, but BYU also appears to be peaking at the right time. They probably need to reach the WCC semifinals (maybe even finals) to really feel safe. My guess is that local fans are going to be upset to see St. John’s still in this bracket. It really comes down to good wins. The Red Storm have 2-3 wins against potential NCAA tournament teams. Every other bubble team has more. Beating Xavier on Tuesday would be a great idea. I also think it’ll be tough to keep a 20-plus win St. John’s team out of the NCAA tournament. So we’ll see!

Last 5 In NCAAs: BYU, Richmond, Minnesota, Xavier, Tennessee

NIT Bracketology:

1. Georgetown
8. Vanderbilt
4. Indiana
5. Ohio
3. Southern Miss
6. Purdue
2. Arkansas
7. Maryland

1. Nebraska
8. San Francisco
4. Boise St.
5. Washington
3. Florida St.
6. Louisiana Tech
2. Providence
7. Georgia

1. St. John’s
8. St. Bonaventure
4. Ole Miss
5. Clemson
3. Utah
6. Illinois
2. Saint Joseph’s
7. Indiana St.

1. West Virginia
4. Marquette
5. Saint Mary’s
3. LSU
6. North Carolina St.
2. Dayton
7. Oregon St.

Others Considered (alphabetical): Akron, Buffalo, Canisius, Cleveland St., Hawaii, Manhattan, Missouri St., Quinnipiac, Texas A&M, Towson, UC Irvine, UNLV, Wake Forest, Western Michigan, Wyoming

The cut-off around the bottom of the bracket is the same as everything else. The teams I chose as eight seeds have more good wins than bad losses and not all of the considered teams can really say the same. There’s definitely a chance that Illinois and/or Purdue won’t even finish over .500 during the regular season. If that’s the case then I’d seriously doubt they’d be considered for the NIT. Illinois needs at least one win amongst: Nebraska, at Michigan St., Michigan, and at Iowa (not easy!), while Purdue has a home game at the end of the season against Northwestern as a record buttress that should leave them at 16-15 at worst.

Still, any team that is a seven or eight seed here is extremely vulnerable. Teams are starting to wrap up their conference titles and Green Bay, Robert Morris and others are all solid teams, but upsets happen all the time in college basketball.

CIT/CBI Pool: Is huge. Teams of local interest include Columbia, Yale, Princeton, Drexel, American, Holy Cross, Bryant, Wagner, St. Francis Brooklyn, and Stony Brook. It’ll really come down to which teams are willing to pay to play after finishing strong during the regular season. I’ve started tracking what teams are interested here.

9 thoughts on “NIT Bracketology: Feb. 24

  1. Justin

    Any chance Arkansas can move up to a 1 seed before the season ends? Getting home court would be huge considering the disparity the team usually has between home and road

    1. John Templon Post author

      The road/neutral record (3-7 right now) stands out when you’re seeding Arkansas. I don’t know if a 2-2 finish down the stretch would quite do it, but they’re close. The 1 seeds are typically the “First Four Out” group of the NCAA tournament. Arkansas probably needs to either beat Kentucky at Rupp or win the other 3 final regular season games to earn a 1 seed. But I’d say Arkansas is definitely getting at least 1 home game.

      It also depends a lot on what the teams around them are doing. Obviously they have the ability to rise and fall pretty far in the next two weeks.

  2. Tony Spro

    I think Seton Hall is on the NIT bubble as well. They beat Georgetown twice already and you have Georgetown as a #1 seed in the NIT. Both teams should have about the same record when the season ends.

    1. John Templon Post author

      Seton Hall’s profile isn’t close to Georgetown’s. (G’town has 3 neutral site Top 50 wins. Comparison link: The Pirates haven’t beaten a team better that the Hoyas. They have 4 wins in 14 tries against teams in the Top 100 (though 3 are on the road). They’ve also lost to FDU and St. Peter’s. If the Pirates can win at DePaul and Butler and grab a win in the BET then it’s a possibility – so I guess yes, they’re on the bubble. It’s definitely possible too considering how the team is playing lately. Beating Creighton would’ve been huge.

      1. Tony Spro

        True John. I agree they need to win 3 of their last 4 and a BE Tourney game. The FDU and St Peters losses were bad but in addition to the 2 G’town wins they also beat Providence and Xavier on the road (both tough places to win). They are actually a better road team where they gave Creighton a big scare yesterday. Their defense is playing a lot better as of late and I think they can be a sleeper in the BE Tourney. The future looks bright too with a pretty good recruiting class coming in next year.

  3. Patrick

    What purpose does this bracket serve if it doesn’t include spaces for the one-bid leagues whose regular season conference champions lose in their conference tournament? Those teams are auto-bids.

    1. John Templon Post author

      Well, it’s hard to account for those teams until we know who they are. The expectation that I like to repeat is that they’ll between 8-10 spots so any team on the 7 or 8 seed lines is by no means safe. But it gives fans an idea of where their teams sit on the overall pecking order. Once No. 1 seeds start losing in conference tournaments they’ll appear in my updates obviously.


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