Current NIT Bracketology

This is the official final NIT Bracketology of the 2018 tournament by NYC Buckets, published on March 11, 2018 at 6:30 pm after the release of the First Four Out (I missed by having Louisville and USC too high). Note: The Georgia players have said they will not participate in the NIT, so I am not including them in my projection.

Update: The official NIT bracket is out. Also, read my thoughts on the selection process.

NIT Tournament Bracket:

Bold: Automatic Bid
Italics: Bubble Teams projected to lose spots to automatic qualifiers

1. Saint Mary’s
8. Hampton
4. Boise St.
5. Washington
3. Oklahoma St.
6. Western Kentucky
2. Nebraska
7. Wagner

1. Notre Dame
8. SE Louisiana
4. Boston College
5. Vermont
3. Utah
6. South Carolina
2. Middle Tennessee
7. Florida Gulf Coast

1. USC
8. UNC Asheville
4. LSU
5. Maryland
3. Mississippi St.
6. Louisiana
2. Louisville
7. Rider

1. Baylor
8. Harvard
4. Penn St.
5. Temple
3. Oregon
6. UC Davis
2. Marquette
7. Northern Kentucky

Note: I flipped UC Davis and Rider for geographic considerations.

Teams I Would Not Be Too Surprised To See (In Order of Lack of Surprise): BYU, Stanford, Belmont, Northeastern, Tulsa, Old Dominion, Colorado

Others Seriously Considered: South Dakota, UCF, Indiana, Memphis, Wyoming, Illinois St., Georgetown, UNLV, Bradley, Utah Valley, Toledo, Southern Illinois, Fresno St., ETSU, Furman

209 thoughts on “Current NIT Bracketology

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  6. Dave Johnson

    Look out for Wisconsin as they improved to 9-7 tonight. I am hoping for at least a .500 season and hoping for an NIT bid.

    Reply
    1. John Templon Post author

      There’s of course no requirement that a team be .500, but it would make it awfully difficult for the committee to take them if they weren’t. Connecticut is a funny one. If they get over .500 than the resume might be good enough because the schedule has been so hard.

      Reply
    1. John Templon Post author

      Yes, Nebraska was considered. Looking at 18-13 and 9-9 in the Big Ten, so certainly enough wins. They’re looking at an RPI around 125/130 according to RPIForecast with just two wins in Tier 1 or 2 (because of how down the Big Ten is), so it’s hard to see the Cornhuskers making a legit run at an NIT bid. An unexpected win at Minnesota or Michigan would certainly help.

      Reply
    1. John Templon Post author

      I have Missouri St. as the Valley’s projected champion at the moment, so I haven’t really evaluated their at-large profile. Loyola (IL) is really the only MVC that looks right now to have a legitimate at-large case to the NIT. Illinois State’s RPI is projected to pass past 100, which—even if the committee claims it doesn’t care about RPI—is too high for a mid-major. A dominant run in conference play could change that for some team, but right now it appears there’s a lot of teams on a similar level, which isn’t good for a mid-major conference trying to get an NIT bid. (You want 2 clear top teams.)

      Reply
        1. John Templon Post author

          I think Illinois State’s season is done. The Redbirds have 5 Quadrant II wins, which is nice, but also 6 Quadrant III/IV losses. The RPI isn’t terrible at 82, but it’s not going to be enough to get an NIT bid.

          Reply
        1. John Templon Post author

          They don’t because Grambling actually won the SWAC but was ineligible for the postseason tournament. I’ve checked with the NCAA on this one.

          Reply
          1. Amy

            ok so they got the no 1 seed based on default . ok i understand that. i still dont see how sc makes it with an rpi of 90.

  7. CMG

    Penn State at #6? I can’t imagine a team with a 108 RPI, only 2 wins against Q1&2, a Non.-Conf schedule littered with 7 Q4 opponents would even merit recognition, let alone inclusion. Why the Lions?

    Reply
    1. John Templon Post author

      This is projected to the end of the season. Penn St. needs to close strong, but they have the schedule to do it. The Lions will play 6 Q1&2 games in their final 8 games. In about half of those they’ll be the favorite. If PSU does as the metrics expect they’d have an RPI closer to the 90s and at least 4 quality wins. That’d probably be enough to slip into the bottom of the NIT bracket. The Lions were the last team before the bubble (italics) teams, so in no way do I think they’re safely in right now.

      Reply
      1. CMG

        With all due respect, you seem to be overreaching here. Penn State is currently a favorite in just one of those 6 Q1&2 games, although four of those games are approximately 50/50 in probability. Specifically, they are approximately 50/50 in five games overall, with one of those games against Q3 Illinois. Given the only consistent thing about this team is their inconsistency, I would be reticent to “expect” them to perform at any predictive level. They have the talent to win against almost any team remaining on their schedule, asides Purdue perhaps. They also have the history of stumbling against some of the lesser opponents on their schedule (Rider, Minnesota, Northwestern, Wisconsin).

        Reply
        1. John Templon Post author

          I don’t think it’s my job to judge the consistency of a basketball program, so I use what the numbers tell me. I’m not a PSU fan or anything.

          Reply
    2. Virgil

      Hey, Rider knocked off Penn State and the Broncs are a pretty good ball club. I would not classify Rider so much as a “non-quality” loss.

      Reply
  8. NH

    Jon, with the inclusion of the AQ teams in the final field, from a low of 5 in 2009 to a high of 15 two years ago, how many teams typically can be considered in the danger zone as not “safe” as at-large inclusions as the season draws to an end.

    Reply
    1. John Templon Post author

      It is typically somewhere around 8-10 automatic bids, which is why I have them noted in italics.

      Reply
  9. Sam Lehrich

    Currently you have Penn State as a 6 seed. What do you think has to happen for them to make a legitimate run at the NCAA tournament? Or is it too late?

    Reply
    1. John Templon Post author

      Win a lot of games? But it would be really hard to put together an NCAA Tournament quality resume given the games that are remaining. The easiest way for PSU to reach the NCAA Tournament is probably winning the Big Ten Tournament in MSG.

      Reply
    1. John Templon Post author

      It seems unlikely at this point that Rutgers can make a serious bid at the NIT, though I know this question was asked before the Scarlet Knights lost to Indiana and Nebraska. I do think the two home games to finish the season are big ones for the Rutgers program. Beating both Northwestern and Illinois would show some progress. (Though a loss would almost certainly doom the Wildcats’ postseason hopes.)

      Reply
  10. Sam

    Do you think if Penn State goes 3-2 and wins 2 games in the big ten tournament to put them at 22-12 they’d be considered for the NCAA tournament with wins over Ohio State, Nebraska twice, Maryland, Montana, and either Ohio State again or Michigan?

    Reply
    1. John Templon Post author

      Penn State is starting to inch closer to the NCAA bubble. If they could get 2 wins in the Big Ten tournament that would definitely help because that second victory would likely be over a tournament caliber team. Also, the wins against Nebraska and Maryland might help considering they’re likely to be on the bubble as well.

      Reply
        1. John Templon Post author

          The Hoosiers have a chance. If they win 3 of next 4 and one in Big Ten Tournament I’d feel okay about it. If they win 2 of 4 (say Illinois and Iowa) it’ll probably come down to how many automatic bids are handed out because the Hoosiers would be right around the cutline.

          Reply
          1. lane

            i don’t think you honestly have a clue. if Indiana wins 3 of the 4 you were talking about, 2 down and 1 to go now, plus 2 in the big tourney they are a NCAA bubble team not NIT bubble team. the nit would be stupid not to ask them to play if they get a chance

          2. John Templon Post author

            Nope. They certainly wouldn’t be on the NCAA bubble. The Big Ten is much, much weaker this season from a NCAA/NIT selection perspective than people believe.

  11. Matt

    After coming out of the best conference in the country and have beaten 3 top tier teams. You only think Iowa State as a 7. Think better than that.

    Reply
    1. John Templon Post author

      Iowa State probably needs to worry about finishing over .500 if it wants to have any chance of making the postseason. The Cyclones have some nice wins, but also a 14-16 projected record. So if you’re looking at the end of the season it’s hard to project them any higher.

      Reply
    1. John Templon Post author

      Fresno St. has a projected RPI sitting really close to 100 (96 right now according to T-Rank). That would be extremely high for a Mountain West team to get a bid, especially once the automatic bids are figured in. The Bulldogs also have just 2 wins against Quadrant I and II (@ San Diego State and @ Wyoming). If they win at UNLV maybe they’ll get more serious consideration.

      Reply
      1. Drew

        You put in Fresno State. Good choice. That loss vs. Wyoming hurt them but the two wins against San Diego State are looming large.

        Reply
        1. John Templon Post author

          Fresno St. really needs to be New Mexico on Saturday to close out the regular season and then make a little bit of a run if they’re going to make the NIT. It’s certainly possible though. Their road wins in conference at Wyoming, San Diego State and UNLV are the big positive in their profile. Winning their first gave in the MWC tournament is a must for Fresno to stay on the bubble.

          Reply
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  13. Frank Molfetta

    No love for St. John’s?! Plenty of winnable opportunities if you’re predicting out to the end of season. Should be anove .500. and if they’re a game below, wouldn’t THIS be the team to finally make it under .500? Great computer numbers, the 2 best wins of any team in the discussion for making an NIT. Plus wins over 3 NIT teams (Nebraska, UCF & Marquette) and wins vs. at least 4 tournament teams (Missouri, Az. St., Duke & Nova).

    Reply
    1. John Templon Post author

      St. John’s, despite decent computer numbers, is still projected to finish under .500. Despite the high-profile victories they’re still projected to finish with 6 wins over Quadrant I and II and 3 losses against Quadrants III and IV. That’s ok for an NIT team, but not great. I doubt they’re the team that the NIT makes an exception for in terms of under .500 teams, so they probably need to take at least 3 of 5 down the stretch. That seems unlikely given the fact that they may be underdogs in every single one.

      Reply
  14. Jerrin

    What about Vanderbilt? Record below .500 but if somehow they get it at .500 or above with a current bpi of 82 and rpi of around 120, think there is any chance with some wins down the road?

    Reply
    1. John Templon Post author

      I think that for Vanderbilt to get to .500 it would take a 5-game winning streak and a run to the SEC semis (or something similarly improbable). If that were to happen, then sure, they’d certainly get serious consideration.

      Reply
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    1. John Templon Post author

      My guess is that if Syracuse goes 2-2 down the stretch they’re going to barely qualify for the NCAA Tournament. But they’d obviously be a top seed in the NIT if they didn’t make it.

      Reply
    1. John Templon Post author

      UNLV has had a good season, but if they want to play in the postseason it’ll probably be in the CBI considering their RPI is projected around 114 and they’re projected to only finish with 2 Quadrant I or II wins.

      Reply
    1. John Templon Post author

      Missouri St. has played itself out of an NIT bid with the two losses this past week plus losing 7 of their last 9. Even a scenario where they won their last 2 and made it to the MVC title game would probably leave them well outside the bubble.

      Reply
    1. John Templon Post author

      Beating Loyola at home on Wednesday is Southern Illinois’ best shot. If they do that, beat Evansville, and don’t get knocked out in their first game at Arch Madness they should at least have a shot. It would then depend on the number of automatic bids that qualified.

      Reply
  16. Frank

    Finally came around on the Johnnies, eh? What changed? You said they weren’t projected to finish .500, since you said that all they did was win 1 game on the road against DePaul. They’re 1 game above-.500 and probably still likely to be underdogs in their last 4 games, and thus still projected to finish under-.500, no? Or are you now projecting they’ll go at least 2-2 to remain 1 game above .500 and go 1-1 in Big East Tournament?

    Reply
    1. John Templon Post author

      I’ve said previously here and on Twitter that if St. John’s got over or to .500 that they’d have a compelling case for the NIT. The game against DePaul was a big swing game. It was one the Red Storm could’ve easily lost (see the 1-point margin of victory) and would’ve essentially doomed their NIT hopes. St. John’s will be a Vegas underdog in 3 of their final 4 games, but overall the predictive metrics (T-Rank, KenPom) guess the Red Storm will find a way to grab two of them. That would make the Big East Tournament much more manageable and lead to something like the newly projected scenario.

      Reply
    1. John Templon Post author

      You’re not missing anything. No MAAC team has a reasonable at-large profile for the NIT. Rider would be the MAAC’s best shot, but they’re currently projected as the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament by virtue of having the best projected regular season record. (If that were to happen the Broncs would also have an automatic bid into the NIT if they lost in Albany.) Canisius has the second best projected RPI in the MAAC at 116, which is about 40 spots too high for serious consideration for an NIT at-large spot for a mid-major.

      Reply
  17. Jared

    Potentially how high can the Indiana Hoosiers end up? Opportunity for two more big wins @Neb, vs OSU, riding a 4-game win streak, playing there best basketball of the season.

    Reply
    1. John Templon Post author

      A four seed seems about as high as Indiana can get (and not make the NCAA Tournament by winning the B1G Tourney title). That would probably take the Hoosiers winning their final two regular season games and advancing to the semifinals or finals of the Big Ten Tournament.

      Reply
  18. Pgoalie

    I think it is probably time it italicize Boston College. They ACC is a little weaker this year (4th best conference), BC looks like they are going to finish 12th, and they have a current RPI of 98.

    Reply
    1. John Templon Post author

      Boston College is becoming very bubbly. The Eagles have a big swing game (for both their NIT hopes and the Orange’s NCAA hopes) against Syracuse on Wednesday. What BC has going for it is that it hasn’t taken a single bad (Quadrant III or IV) loss all season. Considering some of the alternatives below them that’s impressive. A projected RPI of 98 might be just enough to sneak in.

      Reply
      1. Pgoalie

        I think you are probably right, although it does bother me that we reward P5 schools so much for not losing home games against below average teams. BC played the 298th weakest OOC schedule in the country.

        Reply
          1. John Templon Post author

            Grand Canyon is a great story, but will most likely end up in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament again. I think that Utah Valley has a better resume for the NIT among WAC teams.

  19. Griff28

    Can either Rider or Canisius make the NIT field if one finishes second in the regular season and loses the MAAC championship game?

    Reply
    1. John Templon Post author

      I doubt it. Rider has a slightly better resume, but not a good enough one to get into the NIT without the automatic bid once you account for other teams losing in their conference tournaments.

      Reply
  20. Wes

    Do you think that Wisconsin will make the field seeing how well they have been play the past two weeks and being so close to .500?

    Reply
    1. John Templon Post author

      I doubt Wisconsin will get a bid while under .500, so that makes the path really difficult (winning versus Michigan State plus going 2-1 in the Big Ten Tournament). Anything less probably leaves the Badgers well off the NIT bubble.

      Reply
      1. Mike Miller

        Why not Wisconsin? According to the Massey composite ratings, they are rated higher than UCF, Tulsa, Indiana, and Belmont.

        Reply
        1. John Templon Post author

          Wisconsin is 15-18 overall. Theoretically an under .500 team can be selected for the NIT, but considering the plethora of over .500 teams with similar resumes it doesn’t make sense to consider teams like Wisconsin at this point in the process.

          Reply
  21. Ryan

    Regarding BC, I think Notre Dame and NC State were vital, and losing both them squashed March Madness hopes. Unless they win their remaining 3 (FSU, Miami, Syracuse) they are out of the tournament. However, I have high NIT hopes and I think as long as they win 1 more regular season game and one in the ACC tournament (or even 2 regular season) they will make the NIT. Syracuse is a must-win.

    Reply
      1. Jeffrey

        One less loss in Q 1 and same in Q 2. If they beat PSU today they split and already beat Maryland. They crushed Michigan and will be in 4th all alone in the Big Ten. The Big Ten is not that bad it’s ridiculous that they are a bubble team for NCAA. Have to better than a 3 seed in NIT.

        More frustrating is that they are getting zero credit for beating Minnesota when Minnesota was 14th in the country and fully staffed.

        Now with MD getting thrashed yesterday by Michigan there is no way they can be ahead.
        With V today and again next Friday against Michigan they have to be better than last 4 in.

        Reply
        1. John Templon Post author

          Sadly beating Minnesota doesn’t count for much at this point. If Nebraska beats Penn State today I will most likely have the Cornhuskers as a 1 seed in the NIT, but there are just too many teams with much better resumes given what the NCAA committee has looked at in the past. Finishing 4th in the Big Ten doesn’t matter. It’s who you beat and who you lost to and other teams took advantage of those opportunities.

          Maryland is the 3rd team in my opinion, because they just failed to beat anyone of consequence all season. You don’t make the NCAA tournament that way.

          Reply
  22. Jeffrey

    Only two teams in the history of the tournament, 2 out of 306, have won 13 conference games and not made the NCAA. Those were Washington and Oregon when the PAC 12 was ranked the 10th best conference.

    There is no way the Big 10 is the 10th best conference, they have 4 teams in the top 25 and Nebraska finished 4th. Night in and night out it is a very difficult conference to play in, well coached and any team can win on any given night. 13 conference wins have to be rewarded.

    Reply
    1. John Templon Post author

      Historical stats are lots of fun, but the committee doesn’t care about those 13 Big Ten wins. It’s not how they select teams. Teams just don’t get at-large bids with profiles like Nebraska’s. Here’s a new tool BartTorvik that shows that: http://barttorvik.com/resume-compare.php?team=Nebraska The closest historical comp to Nebraska? The Saint Mary’s team that was left out of the NCAA Tournament in 2009.

      Reply
    1. John Templon Post author

      I considered Memphis. Honestly their biggest issue is that they have no chance to get anymore good wins until the American tournament. The Tigers have obviously been playing well, but I think ultimately both Memphis and SMU will end up on the outside looking in.

      Reply
        1. John Templon Post author

          Yeah. I think after losing to South Florida today and going 1-8 in their past 9 games SMU is basically done. The injuries have obviously changed the complexion of their team.

          Reply
    1. John Templon Post author

      I would bet they will have one soon, but they’re only up 1 game on Toledo with two to play. (Even though they’re in different divisions the MAC team with the best record technically is the No. 1 seed.)

      Reply
        1. John Templon Post author

          I haven’t really looked too in depth, because I’ve assumed they were getting the MAC’s NCAA bid, but my guess is that if they need the automatic bid that Buffalo wouldn’t get a home game, but could end up somewhere in the 5/6 range.

          Reply
  23. Shawn

    Having 4 teams in the AAC but no Memphis is kind of a head scratcher. I see SMU in the bracket who is in 8th place but Memphis is in 5th and absent. Memphis also beat SMU at their place. You also have 7th place Temple in who Memphis defeated on the road. If you include 4 teams in the AAC it makes no sense to leave out the 5th place team in favor of 6 thru 8.

    Reply
  24. ksdksdksd

    That site is WEIRD. Memphis has a better record than SMU (8 seed), beat them on the road I their only game, will likely finish 4th, winners of four straight and has a better RPI. How can there be THAT much of a difference?

    Reply
    1. John Templon Post author

      To all the commenters who have asked about Memphis. The deal is that the Tigers have a weaker profile than the rest of the AAC teams.

      Memphis has a projected RPI of 106, that’s historically way too high for an NIT at-large bid. That’s partly because the Tigers have played 11 Quadrant IV games. SMU’s resume is slightly better, even with all of the recent losses.

      This has been discussed in much length re: the Big Ten, but the committees that select the NCAA Tournament and NIT don’t care where you finished in conference play. They care about who you beat and where you beat them.

      Temple has 9 quadrant I and II victories. That’s more than double Memphis’s 4. Right now Memphis’ resume in terms of good wins is at Temple and Houston at home. They’ll need more than that to make the NIT.

      Ultimately SMU probably won’t make the NIT, once automatic bids are factored in. Tulsa is unlikely to either. I have just UCF and Temple as safe at the moment (and UCF barely so). All of the AAC has some work to do during this final week and into the conference tournament.

      Reply
    1. John Templon Post author

      IU should try and win two games to feel safe. I have them in a bubbly position at the moment. There will be a lot happening around them after the Big Ten Tournament concludes that could make a big difference.

      Reply
  25. Brian Abeyta

    What are the Naval Academy’s chances to get an NIT bid? They have 20 wins to include a win vs an ACC opponent.

    Reply
    1. John Templon Post author

      Sadly that ACC win is at home over Pittsburgh, which is a quadrant IV victory. The 20 wins are great, but Navy has almost no shot at making the NIT. I would expect them to figure out a way though to play in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament.

      Reply
  26. Gary Good

    The teams that I always seem to fight quite interesting are those that could get an auto bid by losing in their conference tourney but then get a 5 or better seed in the NIT field meaning they had a NIT worthy resume without the auto bid. What teams could fit into this group this year, if any?

    Reply
    1. John Templon Post author

      Great question. A few that might fit the bill: Loyola (IL), Middle Tennessee, New Mexico St. and Nevada. All four would have varying cases to be an at-large in the NCAA Tournament if they don’t win their conference tournament. Nevada might get an NCAA at-large. Loyola and NMSU would probably end up as 1 or 2 seeds or in the NIT. (NMSU beat Miami on a neutral floor.) My guess is MTSU would end up in the NIT as a 2 or 3 seed because their best wins have come in CUSA. (They also still have to win out to clinch the automatic bid.)

      Reply
      1. Gary Good

        As an Akron alum I feel mid-majors sometimes get slighted by the NIT committee. I know my Zips certainly have on a few occasions and I don’t think that is being a ‘homer’ on my part. That is why I always find it interesting to see who can crack that mid-major void that seems to exist between the NCAA auto bid and NIT first round road game. I do think it has gotten a tad better since the NCAA now declares its first four out and those team automatically become NIT one seeds.

        Reply
    1. John Templon Post author

      Unfortunately, after losing to Marquette last night, I feel like Georgetown is going to have to make a significant run in the Big East Tournament to make the NIT.

      Reply
  27. Logan Malloy

    If Tulsa wins their next three (ECU, Temple and most likely Memphis) before losing to Cincy in the AAC Tourney is there a shot they move up into a position where they won’t be replaced with an AQ?

    Reply
    1. John Templon Post author

      The game probably hurt Syracuse’s NCAA chances more than it helped Boston College’s NIT chances, but it certainly didn’t hurt BC. It’s a useful victory. BC needs to avoid being upset in the first round of the ACC Tournament and a win at Florida State to finish the regular season would probably make things much, much easier.

      Reply
    1. John Templon Post author

      It’s not a requirement, but Rutgers just doesn’t have the profile to justify an NIT selection yet. They have 1 win against Quadrant I/II (Home vs. Seton Hall) and three Quadrant IV losses (Stony Brook, Hartford and Illinois at home). That’s what will ultimately get them left out.

      Reply
    1. John Templon Post author

      I tweeted this yesterday, but it really hurts Indiana’s NIT chances. I’d put them at like 35%. It’s another bad loss, it took away the opportunity to do anything in the Big Ten Tournament and there are still 10 days of other games for auto bids to appear and teams to make moves. A lot will happen in that time, but it doesn’t look great in my opinion.

      Reply
  28. Rick

    How about Rutgers as one of those”not at .500…” teams? At the very least, their fan base would be a great addition to the tourney and they’ve made some strides toward credibility this season.

    Reply
    1. John Templon Post author

      Rutgers had a nice run in MSG, but finished 1-13 against Quad I & II with 6 Quad III/IV losses with a projected RPI of 203. Fellow Big Ten mate Northwestern (who I have on that list but also well off the NIT) went 3-13 with 4 losses with a projected RPI of 165. Rutgers will need to schedule (and win) some tougher games next season to be seriously considered I’d think.

      Reply
  29. John Stover

    Oklahoma State should be a one seed. They have the most wins over top 25 teams then ANY other teams in the ncaa. The RPI of under 80 is the only thing keeping us out of the big dance.

    Reply
    1. John Templon Post author

      Oklahoma State’s non-conference schedule where it played 3 decent teams and lost to 2 of them is what is keeping it out the NCAA Tournament and hurting its RPI. I agree that OSU has some great wins, but their totals are more a factor of playing in the Big 12, where almost every game is a top RPI game. They’re definitely being considered (and some more wins in the Big 12 tournament could make it really interesting), but they’re quite similar to the teams around them.

      Reply
    1. John Templon Post author

      A run to the American semis would at least get them into the discussion. A run to the finals might be enough to get the Tigers in depending on the number of automatic bids that were handed out. The losses at East Carolina and this week at home against South Florida are an anchor on Memphis’ RPI. Their 118 projected RPI is insanely high for a team being considered for the NIT and it’s because the non-conference schedule was stacked with Quad III and IV home games. You might be able to sneak by with that if you’re in the Big 12, see Oklahoma St., but it’s hard in the American.

      Reply
  30. Rene Ferran

    What about UC Davis in the Big West? No. 1 seed, wouldn’t it get auto bid if it gets dumped in conference tourney?

    Reply
    1. John Templon Post author

      Yup, I had just left them off my list. But if UC Davis loses in the Big West tournament they’ll get an automatic NIT bid — analytics sites put the prospects of that happening at pretty likely, 75% or so.

      Reply
  31. Sam

    Joe Lunardi, pretty much the leading bracketologist, has Penn State in the Next Four Out 6 spots away from being in the tournament. Why on here are they not on the bubble when theoretically if 5 or 6 teams do poorly in their respective conference tournaments they will have a chance to get in. Also, according to the BPI they have a 44% chance to get into the NCAA tournament?

    Reply
    1. John Templon Post author

      I mean, there’s not much difference between what we’re saying. I have Penn State 9th in my s-curve (they’re the first 3 seed), so only 3 spots different than Lunardi, which is just a tiny matter of opinion in this process.

      Reply
    1. John Templon Post author

      They’d have to get a 6 because they snuck into the bottom of the bracket when there were fewer than expected automatic bids, but that scenario seems highly unlikely.

      Reply
  32. Jeffrey Jacobson

    You honestly believe that Nebraska is a 4 seed? I simply cannot believe how little credit the Big 10 gets having 4 of the top 20 teams in the country. Go play at Happy Valley and Madison and see what a cakewalk this league is.

    What a complete insult to a very tough league.

    Reply
    1. John Templon Post author

      I covered the Big Ten for 3 years before I moved to NYC. I know how hard it is, but given how the committees typically evaluate resumes I feel like Nebraska’s resume puts it on the 4 line. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Cornhuskers are a 2 or 3, but one of the first four out seems really unlikely at this point.

      Reply
  33. RJF

    Which 7s are most vulnerable? Obviously one will go with Wagner losing tonight? Which one is next on the chopping block?

    Reply
  34. Larry C Bush

    What if Western Kentucky loses in the quarterfinals or semifinals of their conference tournament , are they still in ???

    Reply
    1. John Templon Post author

      It’s hard to say right now, because it would depend on who they lost to and what was happening around them. Their position certainly isn’t safe at the moment.

      Reply
    1. John Templon Post author

      Keep winning and mostly hope that not that many at-large bids get taken by mid-majors needing automatic bids.

      Reply
  35. Badfrog68

    Will the NIT selection show change it’s format too? If they move the show to ESPN 3 less people will watch, they can announce the CIT and CBI bids first just to keep everyone in suspense and then use someone who doesn’t know anything about college basketball or the NIT to analyze the brackets that they give out at the end of the show. I mean if the NCAA tournament makes such changes, it must be the way to go, right???

    Reply
  36. Pingback: Notebook: LSU, a high-seeded NIT projection with fringe NCAA Tournament hopes, is "here to win some games" at the SEC Tournament | TigerRag.com

  37. mrqrange

    What about New Mexico? Would they maybe have to make it to the finals of the MWC Tournament? They finished higher than San Diego St and defeated them as well, yet you have them in the mix right now.

    Reply
    1. John Templon Post author

      San Diego State has a lot more good wins at the moment than New Mexico. SDSU has 2 Quad I and 3 Quad II wins, whereas New Mexico just has 2 Quad II win at the moment (though obviously with an opportunity to get another against Wyoming). The difference in the profiles is enough where I think the committee would prefer SDSU. Conference standing doesn’t typically come into play and the head-to-head result would only be the difference if their resumes were equivalent, which they aren’t really at the moment. If New Mexico makes a run and picks up some more good wins they could also be considered.

      Reply
  38. JD

    Tulsa finished 4th in the American Conference AHEAD of BOTH Temple and UCF. Why would those teams get into the NIT and Tulsa be left out? Makes no sense whatsoever.

    Reply
    1. John Templon Post author

      It makes tons of sense when you consider the fact that the committee is considering a full season’s worth of work instead of just conference play.

      Team, Quad I Wins, Quad II Wins, Quad III/IV Losses
      Temple, 3, 5, 4
      UCF, 1, 3, 0
      Tulsa, 1, 2, 2

      The case for Temple is quite clear, the Owls have some excellent wins. The UCF/Tulsa difference is closer, but UCF has one extra good win and also 2 fewer bad losses. They’re both around the NIT bubble, but I would take UCF over Tulsa at the moment.

      Reply
    1. John Templon Post author

      Unfortunately William & Mary doesn’t have enough to get a bid. Northeastern’s profile is better and also not good enough. W&M has 0 Quad I wins and 1 (with maybe a second coming depending on final results) Quad II wins against IV Quad III/IV losses. That’s just not enough for the NIT. They’d make a great CBI/CIT candidate.

      Reply
    1. John Templon Post author

      After all the games are played. Though I have Indiana as the closest team to the bubble right now, so if there are any more upsets in conference tournaments they’d be on the wrong side of things. (We’ll officially know Indiana’s fate on Selection Sunday.)

      Reply
    1. John Templon Post author

      I just added Tulsa last night (Thursday) as my last team in because I felt their resume had surpassed Indiana. A run to the American final probably won’t get them a top 4 seed, but would make them closer to a lock on my board.

      Reply
      1. Riley

        Lunardi said if they make a run at the american final they would be on the bubble for the big dance because they would have a win over K-state and then most likely Cincy in the semifinal. So how could they not be one of the top 16 teams in the NIT?

        Reply
  39. Pingback: Daily Bullets (March 9) - Big 12 Blog Network

    1. John Templon Post author

      I would think there’s a chance, but they’d need to win a few more games, that losing streak was rough.

      Reply
    1. John Templon Post author

      I haven’t looked at it in depth, but I’m surprised by Lunardi’s comments. Tulsa doesn’t have much in terms of great wins despite the record that looks pretty good. A home game is plausible, but I’m surprised about “bubble for the Big Dance”. Though Nebraska is an NCAA bubble team and I have them sitting around a 4 seed. If Tulsa beats Cincinnati let’s talk. That would obviously be a great win, which the profile lacks.

      Reply
      1. John Templon Post author

        Yeah, I looked at this in a little more depth and if Tulsa makes the AAC finals (by beating Memphis and Cincinnati) I would have them around a 4 seed. Surprised that Lunardi says they would be on the bubble at that point anymore than say a Nebraska or Boise State would be. If Tulsa just beats Memphis today they’ll stay in a pretty bubbly position for the NIT.

        Reply
  40. Badfrog68

    Is Old Dominion even being considered? I see Western Kentucky in the field and Marshall on the strongly considered list but no mention of Old Dominion?

    Reply
    1. John Templon Post author

      Sorry, it’s unclear because it’s a change from yesterday, but Old Dominion is now considered my CUSA favorite and has been granted the NCAA automatic bid. If they lose they’ll drop back into the NIT probably right around Western Kentucky’s place in the bracket.

      Reply
    1. John Templon Post author

      Tulsa is in for now, but if any team needs an automatic bid I’d likely drop them. I’ll have a refresh tonight.

      Reply
  41. Joe

    Would Memphis have to beat Cincinnati and go to the Championship game to make NIT. Or is Advancing to the Simifinals good enough to get them in?

    Reply
    1. John Templon Post author

      They shouldn’t play in the first round if they played in the regular season. I’ll fix in my next bracket.

      Reply
  42. Chris Latham

    Temple how? Memphis continues to prove that there better then all these teams. But no hope. Cincy is too good

    Reply
    1. John Templon Post author

      Quick Temple/Memphis comparison:

      Temple: 53 projected RPI, 3 Quad I wins, 4 Quad II wins, 4 Quad III/IV losses
      Memphis: 105 projected RPI, 2 Quad I wins, 3 Quad II wins, 5 Quad III/IV losses

      Coming into today Temple had a 73 Strength of Record and Memphis was at 93.

      The Owls are living off their early season resume and the home win over Wichita St. Honestly, I may be overrating them. The NIT seems to care more about recent performance, but I ultimately think if an American team gets in it’s Temple unless the committee completely changes how it evaluates teams.

      Reply
  43. Matthew Thomas Castleton

    If this current bracket is accurate, it would set up a Utah-BYU part II. However, this time it would be in the Huntsman Center.

    Reply
  44. Rene

    I agree with you that Middle Tennessee is probably NIT-bound at this point, but I think it’s a shame that it gets dumped into the NIT to make room for teams like NC State and Alabama that get many more chances to enhance their resume — and for the most part, failed to do so, yet because they are in a power conference, they get protected while the mid-majors get the shaft.

    I have always thought the First Four in Dayton should match four mid-major teams that got bounced in their conference tourneys vs. four also-rans from the power conferences, with the winners getting 11 seeds in the NCAA tourney and the losers getting 1 seeds in the NIT.

    Reply
    1. Badfrog68

      I have thought this for years! This year would be perfect for this as Middle Tennessee (24-7), Vermont (27-7) and Louisiana (27-6) . NCAA teams dumped into the NIT because of 1 loss in march.

      John,

      As an NIT guy, do you like conference winners that lose in conference tournaments automatically going to the NIT or do you think it takes away from the NIT tournament?

      Reply
      1. John Templon Post author

        I would love for their to be a system that would allow the at-large bids and top one seeds that lost to play in instead of the current format, but I can’t imagine it happening.

        In lieu of that awesome scenario I think the current setup of awarding conference regular season success with an NIT bid is a good one.

        Reply
  45. ryan

    I’m glad that after GT and the NCST upset BC is back as a 5 seed. I live in Connecticut so I’m hoping to either get to BC in the earlier rounds or MSG for the semis

    Reply
  46. Scott Larson

    I think throughout college basketball way too much emphasis is put on the conference that a team comes out of. Look at a team like Furman. 23 wins in any conference is excellent. Also, very quality losses to Butler in Indianapolis and Duke at Cameron Indoor must help their RPI. However, they get no love because of the perception people have of the Southern Conference. I would much rather watch a very unselfish and intelligent Furman team than a Rutgers or Iowa team from the “entitled” Big 10.

    Reply
    1. John Templon Post author

      Furman is a good team, but until the NCAA starts moving away from metrics like RPI they’ll always be in a difficult situation. It’s unfortunate but true.

      Reply
  47. Pingback: NIT projections — where BYU basketball could be seeded and possible opponents

  48. Mick

    BYU should not be in italics. They deserve to be in the NIT. 24-10 with a semifinal win over St. Marys and just the loss to Gonzaga in the championship game? 24 wins and not in the NIT? Can you please explain that?

    Reply
    1. John Templon Post author

      BYU is going to end up safe, but there was a time earlier today where the number of automatic bids had a chance to knock them out. I think they’re most likely a 5 or a 6 seed in the NIT.

      Reply
      1. Mick

        Now you have them out? That can’t be serious, especially since they beat Utah and St Mary’s, both of whom you have in the NIT. How can that possibly be?

        Reply
        1. John Templon Post author

          BYU was the only team I had in the NIT that had more “bad losses” than “good wins” this season. I wouldn’t be surprised if they made the bracket, but given how we just saw Saint Mary’s was handled by the NCAA committee I felt better having Temple and South Carolina in the bracket instead.

          Reply
      1. Ken Schupp

        Thank you for the info John. Might have been different if they went to the conference tourny final. They had a good year but had a bad 1st game in tourny.

        Reply
  49. Aaron Jordan

    Advanced metrics- BPI and Ken Pom- say Davidson should be an NCAA tournament team let alone an NIT team. Only Notre Dame and Penn State and maybe Baylor have better profiles on these metrics.

    Even by RPI, Davidson should finish ahead of nearly half of the at-large teams you have in. They also finished much stronger.

    Reply
    1. John Templon Post author

      Davidson’s numbers are improving here at the end of the season and I have them in the bracket, but…

      Davidson: 4 Quad I wins, 1 Quad II win, 5 Quad III/IV losses.

      The RPI is reasonable at this point, but their resume—considering the bad losses—overall isn’t great. They weren’t even considered an NIT team prior to this Atlantic 10 run let alone an NCAA contender. They’ll get an NIT bid if they lose tomorrow, but I doubt they’ll get a home game unless the NIT committee wants to make a big statement about the value of predictive metrics, which we’ve never seen before.

      Reply
      1. Aaron

        First, I’ll note, I posted before you updated with Davidson in the final spot.

        I’ve seen Davidson in plenty of brackets in February, (including I though yours). But certainly a couple others.

        Their RPI is now at 59, and wouldn’t drop too much with a loss to URI (#13 by RPI). This puts them ahead of of about 2/3 of the at-large teams you have in, easily good enough for a home game. They have three wins against RPI top 25 teams, as many or more than most of the teams ahead of them despite fewer opportunities. Lunardi now has them among the final eight out of the NCAA tournament, let alone clinging to the NIT bubble.

        And of course advanced metrics say they should probably be in the Big Dance, and if not then a #1 seed in the NIT.

        Yes, they have bad losses, but that is really the only metric for which they can be pinged. Across the board their resume is better than many teams with home games here. And if you are a mid-major that plays more middling teams on the road, that is an obvious consequence.

        I appreciate you making an NIT bracket and providing all the coverage you do, just disagreeing re Davidson.

        Reply
        1. John Templon Post author

          Davidson has been hanging around my NiT bubble for most of February.

          I’ll do a final seed scrub tonight but the NIT often gives those major conference teams the home games and isn’t swayed by predictive metrics. (Otherwise I’d have Penn State a lot higher too.)

          We’ll see.

          Reply
    1. John Templon Post author

      Arkansas-Pine Bluff does not receive an automatic bid because ineligible Grambling actually won the SWAC this season and the NCAA only awards automatic bids to “All conference champions after applying the league’s tie-breaking procedures.” I’ve double-checked with the NCAA and they told me that APB will not receive an automatic bid.

      Reply
  50. Wayne

    How can Louisiana only be considered a 7 seed? Would be a travesty if they got sent on the road in the first round after the season the Cajuns had.

    Reply
    1. John Templon Post author

      They were a 6 seed, but I switched them so they didn’t have to fly out West. The wins are great, but there’s not a lot of meat to them RPI wise.

      Reply
    2. Blaine

      I agree!! I am still hoping for ULL Cajuns to somehow slip into NCAA tourney.. NIT is also a good place to be.. I believe Louisiana can beat quite a few in NCAA tourney and NIT! Loss to Clemson and Wyoming was bad but loss to Little Rock was much worse. A man can hope right??

      Reply
  51. Ed Anders

    If Davidson wins the Auto A-10 Bid does that open a spot for another A-10 in the NIT or is it purely based on next best resume?

    Reply
    1. John Templon Post author

      Purely based on next best resume. I’m trying to figure out how the recent circumstances (Davidson and Penn winning the A-10 and Ivy League respectively) affects the bracket.

      Reply
  52. K-Los

    Very strange that Temple & Tulsa are rated higher than Memphis. Memphis finished with a better record than Temple, beat them in Philadelphia in their only meeting, and advanced higher than them in the AAC tournament. Memphis beat Tulsa 2 out of their 3 meetings and finished higher than them in the AAC tournament.

    Reply
    1. John Templon Post author

      I think I’ve outlined the AAC team credentials higher up in the comments. May write something about it if I have time before the selection show. Memphis’s 100+ RPI is typically a non-starter for all the but the most major conference teams and I don’t think the AAC fits into that category.

      Reply
  53. Pingback: South Carolina and the NIT: Final details and how to watch selection show – The News Turk

    1. John Templon Post author

      Rider is a true 6 seed in my s-curve and that’s about as high as a team with 1 Quadrant I/II win (in only 4 games) can get even with a boatload of wins. I would expect the Broncs to be a 6 or a 7.

      Reply
  54. RJF

    Lunardi still has SMC in his latest Last 4 in. Hope he’s right and you’re wrong, because tired of mid-majors getting shafted.

    Reply
  55. Pingback: Men’s basketball misses tournament, will likely go to NIT – Marquette Wire

  56. Michael

    gee thanks to crooked corrupt ncaa for allowing Louisville Cards inyour tourney … you cant erase our greatness … Go CARDs

    Reply
    1. John Templon Post author

      By winning its conference regular season title and not winning the league’s automatic bid.

      Reply
  57. Pingback: Miles Ahead: The NCAA Tournament Selection Process – Joe Grobeck

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