Here is the second edition of the NIT bracket using Drew Cannon’s BPI. I want to note a few things. Here are auto-bids by teams that you might be wondering where they are:
- Iona (MAAC auto, would’ve been the final at-large according to BPI)
- Akron (MAC auto, would’ve been in NIT)
- Murray State (OVC auto, would’ve been in NIT)
- Oral Roberts (Summit auto, would’ve been in NIT)
- VCU (CAA auto, would’ve been in NIT)
- Davidson (Southern auto, would’ve been in NIT)
- Cleveland St. (Horizon auto, would’ve been in NIT)
- Wagner (NEC auto, would be the 12th team into the NIT)
Final four teams into NCAA via at-large: Northwestern
($), Minnesota, Arizona and Saint Joseph’s
Now that we’ve got that out of the way. Here is the bracket. Note: As I did the last time I preserved the S-curve so there are match ups here that don’t make sense or would be reseeded. What it does mean though is that the ones are the top four teams into the NIT, the twos the next four etc. Hopefully this is informative. I’ll have a fully human authored and seeded bracket on Thursday.
6. New Mexico State
2. South Dakota State
3. Colorado State
1. Mississippi State
8. Virginia Tech
5. St. Bonaventure
6. South Florida
2. La Salle
1. Northern Iowa
4. Missouri State
To be honest. This is a pretty nice and quite reasonable bracket. The first four teams left out are: Montana, Tulsa, Kent State and Duquesne. There are good match ups throughout the bracket and an intriguing potential second regional final between Xavier and Cincinnati. My guess is that a couple of these would get flipped in a true NIT bracket, for instance Arkansas would host Missouri State, South Florida would host Marshall, Stanford would host Colorado State, etc. but it seems like the right teams are getting in. It’s also worth noting that there is an 11-13 Villanova team somewhat safely into the field. It’s crazy, but the Wildcats are sitting right around the NIT bubble.
Drew Cannon has cracked the Bubble Watch nut! By combining the powers of RPI and Ken Pomeroy he got a very simple formula that does a darn good job of projecting which teams are going to make the NCAA tournament. Around here though I leave that to the professionals. Instead, I like to figure which teams are going to be in the NIT. Turns out Cannon’s formula can be used for that too, since it tells you which teams are on the wrong side of the bubble.
Welcome to February. We’re in the thick of conference play, so that means that the NCAA tournament bracket is becoming more clear, right? Wrong. Unbalanced schedules are a death knell to a bracket prognosticator right now. Teams of equal quality can play completely different schedules and ::poof:: no one knows what’s up anymore. Take for instance Northwestern, the reason I started tracking this darn stuff in the first place. Two respectable bubble watch guys, Eamonn Brennan over at ESPN and Andy Glockner at SI don’t even have the Wildcats in their respective watches. Jerry Palm, another respected bracketologist has Northwestern in the NCAA tournament in his latest bracket.
The boys over at Ballin’ Is a Habit went over 2,500 miles to watch college basketball. I commend them on this incredible journey. Thankfully though I live in New York City, most definitely one of if not the greatest city in the world. It’s also so incredibly densely populated that there are always college basketball games happening during the season. Saturday I’m going to attempt to take advantage of what the city has to offer and attend three games in one day.
Conference play has begun and that means that if you play in a major conference you’ve got a whole bunch of chances to get quality wins over the next two months or so. Every game (unless you play in the Pac-12 or are facing the bottom quartile of the Big East) is one against a quality opponent. Teams that take advantage of those opportunities could find themselves in the NCAA tournament come Selection Sunday. The ones that fail to do so will be hanging out in the NIT.