NIT Bracketology: Preseason Edition

Projecting the NIT in the preseason is an absolute fools errand, but I’m going to do it anyways. I used a combination of Ken Pomeroy and Bart Torvik’s preseason projections to build my NCAA Tournament and NIT brackets.

(I used KenPom to determine conference champions, even though Bart Torvik’s rankings were more accurate last season. I am a creature of habit I guess.)

This season I am going to try a new setup for NIT bracketology. I will continue posting about interesting concerns from the NIT bracket from time to time, but I’ll be updating the bracket on our NIT Bracketology page. But since that’s a new policy, here is the first bracket of the season (composite ranking in parentheses):

Bubble teams (bottom 10 in bracket) in italics

1. Penn St. (40)
8. Syracuse (68)
4. Creighton (45)
5. Georgia (63)
3. UCF (60)
6. Georgia Tech (44)
2. Missouri (81)
7. Connecticut (69)

1. Iowa St. (34)
8. Princeton (88)
4. Mississippi St. (59)
5. Florida St. (55)
3. Utah (58)
6. Oklahoma St. (50)
2. Nevada (73)
7. BYU (72)

1. South Carolina (48)
8. Ohio St. (78)
4. Saint Joseph’s (66)
5. Oregon St. (70)
3. Virginia Tech (53)
6. VCU (83)
2. Indiana (65)
7. Loyola (IL) (93)

1. Iowa (54)
8. St. Bonaventure (77)
4. Wake Forest (57)
5. Arkansas (56)
3. Vanderbilt (38)
6. St. John’s (51)
2. Kansas St. (39)
7. Houston (64)

Others considered: Georgetown, Boise St., Fresno St., Missouri St., Harvard, Davidson, Louisiana Tech, Wyoming, Old Dominion, Albany, Louisiana-Lafayette, Samford, Elon, UT Arlington, San Francisco, ETSU

Every team in the preseason NIT has aspirations of making the NCAA Tournament instead. Still, a few perennial powers are near the bottom of this bracket. The composite rankings are extremely skeptical about VCU (83), Ohio State (78), Connecticut (69), and Syracuse (68). It will be interesting to see how those teams do versus lower expectations.

I’ve also included a number of mid-majors in the “Other considered” list. All of these teams have the potential to have a breakout season. I’d expect to see a few of them competing for their league titles, but if they don’t make it then maybe they’ll qualify for a spot in the NIT.

Obviously there will be a lot of turnover between this bracket and the end of non-conference season. Expect a new NIT bracket in late December.

2 thoughts on “NIT Bracketology: Preseason Edition

    1. John Templon Post author

      It’s hard to figure out who the 2nd best team in the MAAC is, which could lead to a lot of parity behind Iona, which is not how the league would get an NIT bid.

      This preview of course doesn’t contain automatic bids though and that’s always possible too.

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