NIT logo

NIT Bracket: March 3

There’s a new NIT bracket for Friday that’s been posted.

Just a few days ago I said that I didn’t feel good about Illinois making the NIT bracket. Of course then the Illini went out and beat Michigan State in East Lansing. It’s starting to feel like every team has a win over the Spartans, but that’s not really true. This is a huge victory. Here’s the kicker though: Illinois can’t play at home.

NIT logoIt’ll be interesting to see how the NIT seeding committee handles that case if the Illini are right around the 4/5 seed line come Selection Sunday. Last season Kentucky was given a 1 seed even though it couldn’t host and ended up traveling to Robert Morris. We all know how that worked out.

The other big change this week is that I did an in-depth seed scrub. I really went through and tried to put every team in exactly the right spot. Of course that doesn’t always happen, but I think this more accurately reflects where we are in the season.

The auto bids to the NIT will start taking spots shortly. This week in fact. Expect to see slots disappear. The teams that could take them are here along with information on potential CBI/CIT teams. If the movement justifies it, and it probably will, I’ll be putting out a new bracket sometime mid-week, most likely Thursday.

Last Few NCAA Bids (Not Necessarily In Order): Colorado, Oregon, Xavier, Arkansas, Oklahoma St., Baylor, Dayton, BYU, California, Missouri, Pittsburgh

NIT Bracket:

1. Tennessee
8. Middle Tennessee
4. West Virginia
5. Ohio
2. Georgetown
7. Clemson
3. Richmond
6. San Francisco

1. Providence
8. Cleveland St.
4. Illinois
5. Boise St.
2. Florida St.
7. Texas A&M
3. Marquette
6. Oregon St.

1. Nebraska
4. Southern Miss
5. Georgia
2. Utah
3. Indiana
6. Indiana St.

1. Minnesota
8. Western Michigan
4. Washington
5. Saint Mary’s
2. St. John’s
7. Manhattan
3. LSU
6. St. Bonaventure

Others considered: N.C. State, Missouri St., Purdue, Akron, Maryland, Eastern Michigan, New Mexico St., Ole Miss, Vanderbilt

Edit: An earlier version of this had St. Bonaventure playing at Richmond, which most certainly can’t happen. I’ve updated the bracket to reflect that change. Sending San Francisco across the country is still less than ideal though. (But they were going to Baton Rouge in the original bracket anyways.)

19 thoughts on “NIT Bracket: March 3

  1. Brian Friedman

    Hi John !! I see that UGA moved from a 7 seed to a 5 seed. Are they solidly in the field now sinse off the 7-8 line.

    1. John Templon Post author

      Given Georgia’s body of work up to this point I feel pretty good about where they are right now. They’re certainly above some of the other teams. Beating Mississippi St. on Wednesday would be a good idea (and seems likely). Otherwise it seems hard to see them getting left out.

    1. John Templon Post author

      No. They most certainly wouldn’t. That was a bracketing procedure error on my part. I’ve moved St. Bonaventure to the game against LSU and Richmond is now hosting San Francisco, which is less than ideal. If two West Coast Conference teams make it into the bottom of the bracket there might be some finagling. Though those six seeds aren’t safe given the typical number of auto bids that are handed out.

  2. 58 Wolf Kennel

    Hoo boy. Back in my day of playing, an NIT invitation was a great honor. I’m sad to see the scorn it now receives. While I would rather see my Pack play in the “Big Tourney”, I’d not turn up my nose at an NIT bid. Our guys have played hard under Coach Gott and they deserve some sort of recognition. I was fortunate in that I was able to enjoy the fruits of my labor, both in my playing days as well as in my professional life. Here’s to a great NIT!
    Go Pack!
    Go NIT!

  3. Esoccer10

    You need to look at Clemson … the have an RPI of 69, a BPI in the 50’s and are ahead of Florida State in conference, splitting head to head, and you have FSU as a 2 and Clemson as a 7??? Help me justify that.

    1. John Templon Post author

      Clemson is an interesting case. I probably have them too low in this bracket. They’ve got that home win over Duke and three other so-so wins over teams in the NIT conversation (@ Florida State, N.C. State, Maryland). The losses at Wake Forest, Notre Dame and Auburn aren’t great. The recent Maryland victory is useful for separating the Tigers from the Terrapins. If they beat Miami (FL) they’ll stay in the bracket and they have a great opportunity against Pittsburgh on Saturday to close the regular season.

    1. John Templon Post author

      No. The NIT bubble is going to get tighter as the auto-bids are factored in and Notre Dame still has to lose in the ACC tourney to get sent to the NIT. So we’re talking 17-17 as the “best case” scenario and that’s not enough for an NIT bid. Going 6-12 in league play, even with a few good wins, just isn’t enough.

  4. Pingback: Drmic expected to play against Nevada on Wednesday, seniors to be honored (video) » Idaho Statesman Blogs

  5. Michael Van Strien

    Okay, I am first a Clemson fan and secondly an Illini fan. Given that it is really hard for me to see the Illini ahead of the Tigers. Sure, the Tigers have had an up and down year but the were picked to be 14th in their league while the Illini were supposed to be much higher in the Big Ten. Well, I look at the Tigers being an over achieving team and the Illini being a much weaker team; therefore, who do you really think will show out in the NIT more? Really!!!

    1. John Templon Post author

      Mostly it’s because the NIT bracket isn’t about performance versus expectations, but resume now. Illinois has a lot of good wins that Clemson just doesn’t have right now, which is why they’re higher in the bracket. Jeff Sagarin’s rankings agree with your opinion and Illinois losing to Michigan tonight isn’t going to help. Their rankings are going to move towards each other in the next bracket.

  6. Michael Van Strien

    Thanks for the immediacy of your response. I understand completely regarding Illinois’ and Clemson’s expectation vs. actuality argument! I still believe that Clemson will place while Illinois will fail to show(if I might mix sports metaphors)!!! Thanks again for a fine job of putting forth your opinions and keeping them current.
    I look forward to the next set of the NIT!!!

  7. Darnell

    I know you said the NIT bubble will get tighter, but is there any chance for Penn State to have a shot at the NIT if they win their next 2 games (at Northwestern, at Minnesota)?

    How many conference tournament wins would they need to get in the NIT in your opinion?

    1. John Templon Post author

      The Nittany Lions would definitely need to win both games coming up. Not impossible (KenPom gives it about a 10% chance of happening.) Then I’d expect they’d probably need to win two games in the Big Ten Tournament. So the play-in and then the quarterfinal (which would be against the #1 or #2 seed because PSU would be the #9 or #10 seed going in). That seems like a pretty tall task indeed.

  8. Greg Walter

    What does Maryland have to do to earn an NIT bid? And what would their ceiling be if they won their first two games in the acc tourney?

    1. John Templon Post author

      Maryland’s biggest problem is they haven’t really beaten that many people this season. The Terrapins have three decent wins (Florida State, Providence, Tulsa), a loss to a fellow bubble team in Oregon State, and 12 wins against teams ranked 100+ in the RPI. KenPom though thinks UMD is a Top 50 team. So it’s tough to judge. Beating Virginia would probably get Maryland into Monday’s NIT field. If they don’t beat UVA then winning two games (the 8-9 game and a huge upset of Virginia on a neutral court) seems necessary.

      1. Greg Walter

        Wow, that is what I was fearful of. I do not see Maryland accepting anything other than an NIT bid. This team should not even be in this situation with some of the talent they have.

  9. Tryal Alexander

    Hey John do you think Texas Tech will make the NIT? I if not how many games in the Big 12 tournament would they have to win?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *