NIT Bracketology: March 1, 2016

Note: Completely new bracket coming on Sunday. But… I’ve made some tweaks from this bracket to the bracket that’s available on the permanent page.

Welcome to March and conference tournament fortnight! This newest NIT bracketology is the first one what could be at least two this week (and certainly a few next week).

There are going to be a lot of shakeups in the bracket this week because eventually some automatic bids are going to be introduced. Depending on how you look at it there are approximately 24 likely one-bid conferences in NCAA Division I this season. I went through the conference tournament projections on and added up the probabilities for the No. 1 seeds and got that the expectation is that 10 of them would win their conference tournament.

Does that mean there are going to be 14 automatic bids handed out at the bottom of the bracket? Not really. For instance last season there were 12 automatic bids to the NIT, but that included two three seeds (Murray State and Louisiana Tech).

This season that could certainly end up being the case as well. Teams like Hofstra (CAA No. 1 seed), Monmouth (MAAC No. 1 seed), and Valparaiso (Horizon No. 1 seed) most likely would be seeded higher in the NIT (or make the NCAA tournament as an at-large). So that’s definitely something to watch out for.

The hard thing about doing a projected bracket is attempting to take those potential conference tournament upsets into account. Right now I’ve italicized the bottom 10 teams, because that seems to be about the right number historically.

One other thing worth noting: Temple is in the NCAA tournament as the AAC champion, but if the Owls don’t win the automatic bid they’ll be sweating it out on Selection Sunday.

Also, remember this is a look at what I think the NIT bracket will look like on Selection Sunday.

[Update (1 p.m. 3/1): I realized that I left out Houston. I have no idea how, but that shook up the bracket a lot. It has been fixed. The team dropped was Illinois St.]

Last 6 In NCAA (alphabetical): Florida, Michigan, Oregon St., St. Bonaventure, Tulsa, VCU

Projected under .500 and excluded: Arizona St., Georgetown, Mississippi St., N.C. State, Nebraska, Tennessee

NIT Bracket:

1. Gonzaga
8. Boise St.
5. Clemson
3. Houston
6. Georgia
2. Creighton
7. Evansville

1. Butler
8. Davidson
4. Kansas St.
5. Yale
3. Florida St.
6. Marquette
2. Georgia Tech
7. Arkansas

1. Providence
8. William & Mary
5. South Dakota St.
3. LSU
6. Northern Iowa
2. Alabama
7. Albany

1. George Washington
8. Virginia Tech
4. BYU
5. Washington
3. Stanford
6. UC Irvine
2. Ohio St.
7. Mississippi

Seriously considered: Illinois St., Oakland, UCSB, James Madison, Iona, Fresno St., Ohio, Northwestern, Long Beach St., Penn St., Rhode Island, Richmond

37 thoughts on “NIT Bracketology: March 1, 2016

  1. steve

    well just like I figured, Florida lost yet again tonight! this time at home to Kentucky! And you still have them in the NCAA as an “at large” Definitely Count on them being a #1 seed for one of the four NIT brackets of 8!!

    1. John Templon Post author

      I agree with this. Florida is looking more and more like a first team out than a first team in sort of resume.

        1. John Templon Post author

          They’ll probably drop to my NIT bracket, but definitely a home game. The Gators have a neutral site win over St. Joe’s and a win over WVU, which is more than a lot of other teams can claim. The recent losing streak though means they likely have to win SEC tourney to get into NCAA. If they beat Missouri (likely) then they’d definitely have a home NIT game.

  2. steve

    if Oregon St loses to Oregon over the weekend count on Oregon State being the NIT’s West bracket of 8 #1 seed

  3. steve

    Bonaventure’s early-season loss to Hofstra? Have to wonder if George Washington will spoil Bonaventure’s party and Bonaventure ends up becoming a #2 or 3 seed in one of the easts NIT brackets with George Washington sliding in there instead of Bonaventure Might even see VCU get the shaft = a “natural” matchup for VCU to play one of their formal CAA rivals (UNCW)

  4. steve

    if Little Rock gets knocked out of SunBelt Tourn You can then count on Little ROck being a #1 seed in one of the NIT brackets (like Old Dominion was last year)

  5. steve

    SERIOUSLY consider VALPARAISO cause Oakland will get the bid by winning the Horizon Tournament I wouldn’t feel this way if Horizon final was located at Valparaiso’s Homecourt but its not–its at Joe Louis Arena = way way more Oakland fans likely to show up to support a very high scoring team to run Valparaiso to a final which should have about 200 total points scored! (give or take) That being said, look for Valparaiso to be a surprise #2 seed that might just make it all the way to the Garden!!

    1. John Templon Post author

      Considering Valparaiso is one of the best defensive teams in the country I highly doubt there is going to be that many points scored in the final. We’ll see how the Horizon plays out.

    1. John Templon Post author

      I’m not quite sure. Probably a 2 or 3 is where they’d end up. Really depends on what happens around them of course.

  6. Josh

    It looks like the ACC has a great chance to win the NIT, it does not matter what team does it– Clemson, Georgia tech or Florida State. it also depends on who else gets bumped out of the NCAA tournament.

  7. J Israel

    If Columbia beats Yale Saturday night, and knocks them out of an Ivy championship, they’ll get into the NIT. I hope.

    1. John Templon Post author

      Fun to hope for, but it’s not going to happen (the NIT bid, the win might). What would most likely happen then is that Yale would get an NIT bid.

      1. J Israel

        You’re probably right, but hope springs eternal.

        One factor in their favor, though, is their NYC location — a local team probably gets a little more attention from the selection committee.

        There’s a 3rd collegiate tournament that occurs as well.

        They probably will end up in that competition.

        As long as they’re somewhere, I’ll be happy.

  8. KQ

    Glad to see Virginia Tech made the most recent cut. With their ACC leading winning streak now at 4 games after beating Pitt I would like to see that 8 seed move up a bit. Go Hokies! One hell of a season after the last two years.

    1. John Templon Post author

      That was a nice win tonight (though not good for Pitt), will definitely shakeup the next bracket a bit. Most likely out on Sunday. Want to see how smaller conference tourneys shake out.

  9. Paul

    Looks like Marquette is right on the “bubble” with a projection of 10 NIT bid stealers (with a likely regular season ending loss at Butler to come). Hoping the #1 seeds do well the next 7-10 days.

  10. steve

    if NORTHWESTERN holds on for the “W” at the Happy Valley tonight things aint gonna be so happy for Penn St fans when it comes having the choice between a “better than average” late-season Big 10 team vs a “below mediocre” Big 10 team its no contest between those two which of the two the NIT selection committee will lean towards and vote to have included into the field of 32! (the vote will be to pick a unanimous Northwestern into the field of 32 by a mile!!)

    1. John Templon Post author

      Once all the automatic bids are taken into account I don’t think the committee is going to be taking Northwestern or Penn State unless the Wildcats go on quite the run. Northwestern has one good win (over Wisconsin) and a Charmin soft schedule. They’ll need a lot more to get into the 5/6 seed lines.

  11. steve

    and NORTHWESTERN gets the W over PENN STATE!! = NORTHWESTERN should get the NIT bid and NOT Penn State!! with OHIO STATE and MICHIGAN still leading the NIT contenders from the Big 10 in front of Northwestern, true, however, the committees want to see or get a feel for who’s in late-season playing “hotter” than the others How it stands right now RPI wise Ohio State RPI is 75 Michigans is 60 Northwestern although a RPI of 123 out of these three teams is perhaps the hottest coming into the Big 10 Tournament next week!!

    1. GoCatsNU

      Dont worry bro, NORTHWESTERN isnt going to the NIT, we are going to the tourney after a 4 game win streak in Indy

  12. steve

    FRESNO by far the BEST #85 RPI you’ll ever see play at this point and time!! or (if you’re an opponent playing them) have to fear playing at this point and time!!! I Saw their game on TV vs Colorado St last night which they beat Colo St 87-73 and in that game (and the last 6 or so games) They’ve made winning absolutely look “too easy” An 85 RPI does this team injustice and if they don’t get a #2 seed on the west bracket of 8 it’ll only be because the NIT committee looked at Gonzaga’s current couple of past years resumes and not how Gonzaga’s currently “struggling” All will be told how the West bracket of 8 fits into place after the WCC and Mountain West Tournaments have concluded! Oregon St or Gonzaga who the NIT Committee will choose for the Far West #1 seed remains to be figured on until they see how those two teams do in Conference Tournaments

  13. steve

    PRINCETON?? clinging onto a 39 RPI?? Given their very high RPI number of 39, which surprisingly is still in the 30’s does their RPI make them a candidate for possible #1 seed for NIT now that Yale has finished business by winning the Ivy Title?? I’m still looking for that 3 or 4 seed for them at Jadwin Gym and to host Hofstra in the first round, upper Northeast bracket of 8 This matchup will most definitely be a great matchup to watch this game, if it happens, in person!!!

  14. steve

    John, UCI has a 7-foot 6 shot blocker who is getting better by the week and is right now On FIRE!! Hawaii’s the NIT choice not UCI’s Anteaters!! Hawaii has to make travel plans way in advance to “school x y or z” on West Coast somewhere in the vicinity of the 3 state radius of Los Angeles Committee knows this Selection will be Hawaii at Stanford Hawaii at BYU or Hawaii at Fresno (which is the leading logical candidate for travel selection for Hawaii to play in 1st round since Fresno is bus-driving distance from LA This being said, Hawaii will be #6 and Fresno will be logical choice for #3 Keep in mind also that San Diego State may also be snubbed by NCAA Tournament Selections hence #2 in the NIT Far West bracket making Hawaii then a #7 selection to face a multi-talented San Diego State squad!!

  15. steve

    You can now BOLD Monmouth, Hofstra, and VALPARAISO into the growing group of automatics and shrinking group of larger major-conference at-large entrants–I think that we’re up to 8 Regular-Season Conference winners currently holding onto NIT automatics
    1. N Fla (definitely not NCAA Tourn at-large)’ #7 or #8 NIT seed
    2. Bucknell (definitely not NCAA Tourn at-large) #8 seed
    3. Wichita (Very GOOD CHANCE at NCAA Tourn at-large) if in NIT probably a #1 or #2 seed at worst
    4. High Point (defintely NOT NCAA Tourn at-large) #8 seed looking for them to play vs George Washington?
    5. Belmont (defintely NOT NCAA Tourn at-large) #6 or #7 seed be surprised if higher seed than 6
    6. **** VALPARAISO oh how DISSAPOINTING to see such a good team lose in semis of the Horizon but what’d I tell you John?? they weren’t playing at Valparaiso it was in Detroit!! Look for them to be a very HUNGRY #2 or #3 SEED at worst and I feel sorry for the mediocre-larger conference team that has to travel to play vs them at Valparaiso next week!!!!
    7. ***MONMOUTH oh “danny boys” lose out to a very UNDERESTIMATED IONA team looking to see them as a #3 seed on the east bracket of which I’m hoping they aren’t paired up vs Hofstra in 1st round of NIT!!
    8. Hofstra Lucky to have gotten and climbed “up the CAA ladder” to tie with UNCW who practically lead the conference all season long!! Hofstra is probably gonna be a 3, 4, 5 or 6 seed we’ll see how much sympathy the NIT Committee members have on them rounding them out with the rest of the available field Gut tells me #4 seed on east is most likely slot they’ll receive (3 if the committee has pity on them!)

  16. steve

    Whoops missed one! (IPFW) lost to N Dakota 68-69 I certainly wouldn’t want to play them in first round of NIT’s IPFW’s tough!!

  17. steve

    You’re so Wrong about Bucknell having to travel all the way to Spokane Washington to play Gonzaga!! Looking foward to seeing you have to change your NIT spacing for them after Gonzaga wins the WCC tournament in about an hour from now!!!

  18. steve

    John: Bucknell will travel by BUS to SYRACUSE!!! Much much easier to take the bus ride for them I-80 to 81 North Bus ride to Syracuse from Lewisburg is only about 3 to 3 1/2 hours versus 4 hours+ from Wagner to Syracuse much less tolls expenses to worry about!! Fresno will win the Mtn West Championship and then we will see San Diego State become a late-NCAA scratch bumping them to #1 seed of NIT playing Hawaii, or Cal-Irvine, The Big Sky Representative (Weber St) if they lose their conference tournament, they will probably be facing ST MARYs in first round of NIT St Marys being the #2 seed on NIT West bracket in first round of NIT NIT West bracket looks like this:
    1. #1 San Diego St vs #8 Hawaii or UC Irvine OR #8 Regular Season Winner of SWAC
    2. #2 St Marys vs #7 Weber State
    3. #3 Houston vs #6 Texas Southern
    4. #4 BYU vs #5 Northwestern or #5 Marquette

  19. steve

    FRESNO STATE!!!!!! I told you John, I told you they were gonna beat San Diego State for the Mountain West Title!! As for San Diego State, They are now a lock for #1 seed NIT Far West Bracket in my NIT Bracketology Predictions (hopefully yours as well!) But nonetheless we’ll Have to see if the NCAA Committee now agrees and puts them in their “first four out” tomorrow night but my gut says an absolute “yes” to that one!!

  20. steve

    Also, if LITTLE ROCK loses tomorrow afternoon’s Sun Belt Final, with an overall record of 28-5 count on them being one of “last 4 out” by NCAA Committee = a #1 seed in NIT (if Little Rock loses tomorrow)

  21. steve

    But Little Rock won’t lose tomorrow! (they’re too good a team-probably can beat most of the middle of packs teams in any of the 7 major conferences on any given day!!) đŸ™‚

  22. steve

    Oh NO!! Akron just LOST in MAC Title Game!! (cough up another automatic NIT bid towards the re-shuffling of the whos gonna play where listings! Not to mention this makes by my prediction Hofstra a 3 seed with Akron etching out Hofstra for that #2 seed slot!)

  23. steve

    Counting San Diego State and Akron this now makes the total number of NIT automatic bids up to 14 out of 31 conferences or roughly 45 percent–I think thats an alltime NCAA high percent of regular-season conference winners losing their conference tournaments?


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