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NIT Bracketology: March 13

There’s a new bracket out! There will be 1 more tomorrow (Selection Sunday).

There’s a lot of discussion about mid-major conference tournaments going on right now. Most of the focus is on the fact that the teams that were the No. 1 seeds won’t get to play in the NCAA tournament, where they could’ve represented their conferences in hopes of immortal glory, like Dunk City last season. Of course what the narrative tends to leave out is that all of these teams are heading to a different tournament, the NIT. The automatic bids are having another effect too, squeezing the bubble in a quite dramatic way.

NIT logoDespite what many people tend to think, there are way more than 68 good teams in Division I each season. In fact, many talented teams are going to left out of even the NIT. As we head into a very busy Thursday I have an updated NIT bracketology. Take a look at the seeds, but also take a look at the teams that didn’t make it. My final two selections were Indiana St. and Maryland, but in order to do that I had to leave a ton of talented teams out of the field. There are about 12 other teams that I think would have a reasonable shot at an NIT bid if the auto bids didn’t exist. They all have resumes that currently rank in the Top 100 of Sagarin’s Pure Elo ranking. Of course being a Top 100 team isn’t enough anymore, because of all the automatic bids. Honestly, at this point in time I think it’s easier to figure out the NCAA tournament bubble than the NIT bubble and it’s quite possible that the number of available bids will continue to shrink as championship week continues.

Let’s just say the NCAA bubble teams aren’t going to be the only ones nervous on Selection Sunday. (So are the NIT bracketologists!)

NCAA Teams: Dayton, Nebraska, California, Saint Joseph’s, Stanford, Pittsburgh, Xavier, BYU, Tennessee

NIT Bracketology (auto bids are in ALL CAPS and bold):

1. Georgetown
4. Southern Miss
3. West Virginia
2. Florida St.

1. Utah
8. San Francisco*
4. Illinois %
5. LSU
3. Toledo
6. Maryland
2. Arkansas
7. Middle Tennessee St.

1. Minnesota
4. Marquette
5. Ohio
6. Indiana St.
2. St. John’s

1. Providence
4. Indiana
5. Georgia
3. N.C. State
6. Saint Mary’s
2. Missouri

Just missed: Washington, Clemson, Richmond, Oregon St., Boise St., Buffalo, Ole Miss, Wake Forest, UC Santa Barbara, UTEP, Towson

* I bumped San Francisco down a seed line for geographic reasons.
% Illinois can’t host because its arena will be undergoing renovations.

Side Note for NYC folks: You could also switch LSU and Iona in this bracket (they’re the 5/6 cut line) and send Illinois to the Hynes Athletic Center, which might be the most awesome scene ever for ESPN. Just a thought.

There are more potential auto-bid stealers still out there. You can find them and all the known information about the CIT and CBI on this page.

40 thoughts on “NIT Bracketology: March 13

  1. Ben

    FGCU’s NIT bid is not automatic, unless the A-Sun changed their tiebreaker rules.

    In 2010, there was a 4-way tie at the top of the conference. The NIT bid went to the team that advanced farthest in the conference tournament. So, with Mercer winning, there might not be an NIT auto-bid for the A-Sun this year.

    1. John Templon Post author

      FGCU was the No. 1 seed in the Atlantic Sun tournament and thus they are granted an automatic bid to the NIT for sure.

    1. John Templon Post author

      This is a common question this season, but no. Southern U. does not get an automatic bid to the NIT because they are ineligible for postseason play due to APR restrictions. Because of this the SWAC does not have a team eligible for an automatic NIT bid. (I confirmed this with David Worlock on Twitter. He’s the NCAA Director of Media Coordination/Statistics and March Madness Media Coordinator.)

  2. Mauy

    How far with Richmond need to advance to get back on the NIT board? Will a win today over DUQ and a good VCU showing do it?

    1. John Templon Post author

      I don’t know if a win over DUQ will be quite enough. Beating VCU is definitely enough. A good showing it’ll be close and would really depend on how many more automatic bids go out and what other bubble teams do.

    1. John Templon Post author

      Why? What convinced you? Their 0-7 record against Top 100 foes? Their 6 losses to teams 100+ in RPI? Their best win being at Bryant?

      I’m not really sure how you’d come to that conclusion. I’m as big an NEC fan as anyone (probably more than most), but I just can’t see justify giving RMU anything besides an 8 seed right now. They were actually the second-to-last team on my S-curve.

  3. Tryal Alexander

    When will we find out if Texas tech received a CBI bid? Or do you think they are out after their loss?

  4. JarredHog

    Would you say Arkansas is a lock for a 1 seed? They got cheated out if the NIT last year!

    1. John Templon Post author

      I don’t know what happened last season with the NIT and Arkansas. That was really, really weird. Considering I have them as a 2 seed and they lost to South Carolina today, I doubt they’re a lock for a 1 seed. They should get at least 1 home game.

  5. Chris

    Does the NC State win over Miami move them up to a 2 seed? Do you think a number 1 seed would be possible with a win over Syracuse tomorrow?

    1. John Templon Post author

      The Miami (FL) win was necessary to keep NC State where they were. I think a win over Syracuse could move them close to the NCAA bubble, so yeah. That would be huge in terms of NIT seeding, for sure.

    1. John Templon Post author

      Well, Maryland didn’t do themselves any favors by losing today. USF’s profile is better the more in depth you look at it. I’m not quite sure how Saturday or Sunday’s brackets will look yet, but they’re on the bubble with a few other teams that are rising. Hope that the 1 seeds hold out. They’re having a good day today.

  6. Monte

    Don’t you think Tulsa is currently more bubble than UTEP? If Tulsa beats MTSU today, they probably belong as an 8.

    1. John Templon Post author

      Unfortunately, there are no 8 seeds available thanks to automatic bids. That said, I do think that all of the C-USA teams have a chance of making the tournament. The winner of the MTSU-Tulsa game will be in my bracket on Saturday, unless of course they win C-USA’s automatic bid. CBS Sports Network got two really good games today.

  7. Shane

    May I ask your basis for excluding Clemson? They finished 6th in the ACC with a 10-8 record, have a 4-2 record against teams included in this version of your NIT field and better RPI than several teams listed here, including Arkansas, Maryland, UGA and LSU.

    1. John Templon Post author

      I excluded Clemson because I thought the other teams had better resumes. But I’m tempted to switch them and Maryland now.

      1. Shane

        A week or so ago, you posted that Clemson was racking up wins in a power conference and that usually carried weight with the NIT. I agreed more with your thinking at that time. The only thing that has changed since then is an OT loss to NCAA-bound Pitt. I’ll be pretty surprised if Clemson doesn’t make the NIT field. Thanks for your reply.

        1. John Templon Post author

          They have a lot of wins. 16 of their 20 victories are against teams 100+ RPI, but having won at Florida State and beaten Duke I think they probably have enough juice to get in, especially because they won their one head-to-head game against Maryland. If they beat Duke today this all becomes a moot point.

  8. IRex

    You realize youve just given every Georgetown fan on earth a collective heart attack with the potential match ups youve given us? Did you purposefully pick like every single double digit seed to have knocked Georgetown out of the NCAA Tournament in the past 10 years and stick them in their bracket?

  9. Rico

    I believe Richmond has 7 wins vs RPI top 100. It appears most of the other teams around the NIT bubble have 4 or fewer against that same group. I will be surprised if the Spiders are left out. Southern Miss and Indiana St. have particularly weak results.

  10. Matthew

    If Utah gets a #1 seed, look for the Utes to end up in New York. They have a dominating home-court advantage (18-2 record at home this year). Based on what I have watched this year, Arizona might be my favorite to win the National Championship. Their defense is just ridiculous. The final score in the Pac-12 Tournament game between Utah and Arizona was incredibly lop-sided. But it wasn’t because Utah is bad. It is because Arizona is just that good and was looking to make a statement after being upset at Oregon in their regular-season finale. Utah’s two home losses this season are to Arizona and Oregon, and both games were lost in overtime.

  11. ed

    After utep lost last night,what chance do they have of getting a nit bid.what scenario do you see for them.

    1. John Templon Post author

      Unfortunately I think UTEP is probably on the wrong side of the NIT bubble now.

  12. brumdog44

    Your bracket is more kind than the NIT bracket project is to my Hoosiers which has them as a 6 which could even put them out of the tourney if enough regular season conference champions of small to mid majors lose their conference tournaments. Do you agree that it is time to seriously revamp the way that the NCAA calculates RPI? KenPom’s work is infinitely better than anything that the NCAA has attempted to do.

    1. John Templon Post author

      Unfortunately I’m probably going to be dropping the Hoosiers a little bit in my next bracket. They’re on the right side of the NIT bubble – I think at least – for now. More auto bids could be handed out today. And definitely. KenPom is a much more accurate way of evaluating teams.

    1. John Templon Post author

      I think both are probably on the outside looking in as far as the NIT is concerned, but they’d both be good additions to either smaller tourney. Canisius is hosting a CIT game, would be a great local rivalry.

  13. JarredHog

    Kentucky winning the Sec tourney would bump Arkansas RPI and BPI by quite a few pts. Does that get them a 1 seed in the NIT? Or does it get them a 12 seed in the NCAA tourney?

  14. JarredHog

    I’ll bet you a 100 dollar bill they get at least a 2 seed. Remember, Lunardi still has them as the first 8 out. 7 and 3 in their last 10 games. Beat Ole Miss by 30, beat Georgia and Kentucky in that stretch… Beat SMU, Clemson, Minn, and finished 5th in the Sec. You had them as a 2 last year and their resume was a ton worse. You my friend are wrong on this.

  15. Cole Burnworth

    I’m a huge hoosiers fan but I don’t think a 4 seed is right maybe a 6 although the wins against, Wisconsin,Michigan,Iowa,Ohio St. probably help that, you gotta take into account the losses to Northwestern,Penn St and Purdue, I just want to see the Hoosiers keep playing even though it’s a bit of a season to forget, do you see them being out of the NIT at all?

    1. John Templon Post author

      I have the Hoosiers out of the NIT in my latest bracket – post the loss to Illinois and some reconfiguring. The RPI is hurt by those losses you mentioned. My new bracket takes everyone through my logic.

  16. Cole Burnworth

    But why out? Because from what I’ve been reading the NIT doesn’t take records into account more of the number of attendance from the fans and you know as well as I do that the Hoosier faithful will always be in attendance, even though most teams that have been in the NIT have had .500 records. If I’m wrong correct me.

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