Note: The NIT bracket has a new permanent home. I’ll still be posting with thoughts, but that will always have my most recent bracket.
We’re coming down the home stretch. This is latest and greatest in NIT bracketology.
A couple notes about this bracket. The NCAA recently announced that the “first four out” will automatically become the No. 1 seeds in the NIT. I guess this makes logical sense. I tried to mimic this behavior with my top seeds.
The auto bids have also begun being claimed. As of Sunday night, three teams — Murray State, Bucknell and Charleston Southern — who lost in their conference tournament appear in this bracket. They’re in bold. The Racers would’ve made it without the automatic bid, but Bucknell and Charleston Southern kicked two (albeit undeserving anyways) teams out of the bracket.
Kansas State is still under .500 overall. Their resume is also pretty good, though the Wildcats’ RPI is a very NIT bubblish 88. For now I’m including them in the bracket, but they could easily be eliminated shortly or make a run in the Big 12 title game. Who knows.
The Ivy League playoff on Saturday presents an interesting dilemma for the NIT. Harvard and Yale both have quite similar resumes and the final game against each other isn’t going to change much. Since KenPom has the Bulldogs as the slightest of favorites I’ve included the Crimson in this bracket and they’re teetering right on the auto bid bubble line. My gut tells me the NIT would probably take an Ivy playoff loser, but it’s certainly not guaranteed.
I will probably just be updating this bracket will as conference tournament play goes along until at least Thursday evening, i.e. replacing automatic bids if necessary and moving teams up and down if warranted. Expect a fresh bracket Friday morning and a final bracket on Sunday.
Last 8 NCAA tournament teams: Cincinnati, Texas, Indiana, Purdue, Texas A&M, Ole Miss, Temple, BYU
Note: Boise State was given the Mountain West automatic NCAA tournament bid since they’re the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament.
NIT Tournament Bracket:
Bold: Automatic Bid
Italics: Bubble Due To Potential Automatic Bids
1. N.C. State
8. Charleston Southern
6. Seton Hall
2. Murray State
1. Miami (FL)
8. St. Francis Brooklyn
4. Green Bay
5. St. Mary’s
3. Illinois State
4. George Washington
6. Arizona State
2. Old Dominion
8. William & Mary
4. Rhode Island
7. South Dakota St.
CBI/CIT: There are a ton of teams. If you’re interested in the ones we think have the best shot, we’re tracking known bids and interest on our postseason page. Note that it only includes eliminated teams, so there are no major conference teams on the list yet. A few that would make sense: Northwestern, TCU, Florida St., Penn St., Oregon St., and California.
Update (3/9/2015, 8:56 p.m.): William & Mary has been eliminated by Northeastern in the CAA finals. The Tribe knocked the last at-large, Kent State, out of the bracket.
Update (3/9/2015, 11:31 p.m.): Iona has been eliminated by Manhattan in the MAAC finals. The Jaspers knocked Toledo from the last at-large spot. Iona entered the bracket as a six seed and pushed Clemson and Kansas State down one seed line each.
Update (3/10/2015, 9:16 p.m.): St. Francis Brooklyn has been eliminated by Robert Morris in the NEC finals. The Terriers knocked Kansas State from the last at-large spot.
Update (3/10/2015, 11:46 p.m.): South Dakota St. has been eliminated by North Dakota State in the Summit League final. The Jackrabbits knocked Clemson out of the last at-large spot. Also, I’ve done some re-evaluation of the bracket. Minnesota’s loss to Penn State dropped the Gophers further down the RPI ladder than expected and I’ve dropped them from a 2 to a 5 seed. I moved Murray State, Richmond and George Washington up one line each because of that shift. I also moved Iona up a line to a 5 seed after looking more at their profile. The Gaels just have a lot of wins. They’re now a 5 seed and Seton Hall dropped a line to a 6. I’ll have a fully updated and re-evaluated bracket on Thursday.