Category Archives: NIT

NIT Bracketology: The Confusing Bubbles

NOTE: The latest NIT Bracketology can always be found from the top link here. It is updated every Sunday.

The bracket is a mess. Maybe not this one, but definitely the NCAA tournament bracket. When I put together an NIT bracket I remind myself that the bottom 8-10 teams aren’t even going to make. Thank goodness. We’re trying to separate incredibly average major conference teams from good mid-majors with no profiles. Not fun. Continue reading

Reaction to the NIT Bracket

Overall, I think the NIT selection committee did a great job this season. Sure, they had a penchant for over seeding teams from a fake BCS conference (the Pac-12) and they put La Salle into the bracket, but charged with picking 21 at-larges after 11 bids got ripped away they did a pretty good job. Here are the four biggest issues I have with the bracket and then just two be nice two things I appreciated.

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Wagner left out of NIT, finishes 25-6

The NIT bracket is out. Iona isn’t on it. Wagner isn’t either. The difference is the emotions those two teams are feeling right now.

For the Gaels’ it’s about relief and a second chance. Their selection as an at-large bid, just the second in MAAC history, is an opportunity to make good on all the promise the season has held for them. The First Four in Dayton on Tuesday night against BYU will be a showcase for the Gaels. But more on that later.

For the Seahawks’ there is probably disappointment on Staten Island tonight. Even with 25 wins, the most of any team not selected to play in either the NCAA tournament of the NIT, it’s a tough reality to grasp.

The NIT Selection Committee, much like their cousins in the NCAA selection room, are charged with picking the best teams they can for at-large bids. The unfortunate thing is that they don’t know how many they’ll get to pick until late in Championship Week. This season 11 teams earned automatic berths by winning their conference’s regular season title and failing to win their conference tournament.

Five of those teams ended up on the bottom two seed lines, meaning they wouldn’t have gotten in any other way. One wonders if Stony Brook had beaten Vermont on Long Island on Saturday morning if things would’ve been different for the Seahawks.

Charged with picking the “best” remaining 21 teams, the committee did about the best job it could. (I’ll talk about La Salle and Cleveland State in my next post.)

Part of Wagner’s problem was that their opponents during non-conference play couldn’t hold up their end of the bargain. Princeton and Penn did compete for an Ivy League title, but Pittsburgh crashed, Santa Clara fell apart (not winning another game) and Air Force stumbled after the Seahawks beat them. It made the resume a little less impressive. Instead of a Top 50 victory Pittsburgh became barely a Top 100 win.

You do the best you can at the beginning of the season to make a schedule that: 1) Is achievable with the current team. 2) Is competitive. 3) Will put you in a place for a postseason bid. Wagner did almost everything they could’ve done, but for the Seahawks it just wasn’t quite enough.

It’s sad that not getting selected means the end of the road for teams like Wagner. Two other NEC teams, Robert Morris (CIT) and Quinnipiac (CBI), will be playing postseason basketball outside of the NCAA tournament. Wagner decided not to pursue postseason basketball after getting passed over by the NIT. It’s understandable, but it means a swift, unexpected end to a season that went so far and meant so much.

Final NIT Bracket Prediction

Here is the final projected NIT bracket. If I’m reading NIT-ology correctly we’re going to differ on four teams. I’m taking Iowa, Princeton, Denver and Illinois State and he’s taking Weber State, Illinois, Pittsburgh and Maryland. (Because Arkansas is getting bumped in his bracket by St. Bonaventure’s win.) We’ll see what happens tonight at 9 p.m.

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NIT Bracketology: March 11

Here we are once again. Selection Sunday is upon us. For this bracket I did a complete scrub of all the seeds. I also started taking into account the fact that some major conference teams can make offers to host that the NCAA just can’t turn down. In the back of my head the Iowa quote about making a competitive offer keeps coming up. The Hawkeyes are definitely in the field in my opinion — they just have so many good wins it’d be hard to turn them down — but for the first time I have them playing Round 1 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

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