NIT Bracketology: Feb. 25, 2016

There are 67 college basketball games tonight, so I wanted to make this NIT bracket was published before then.

It’s especially important because there are a number of games that could really upend this bracket. (Or the NCAA bracket above it.)

For instance, Memphis beating SMU would be a huge help for the Tigers’ NIT resume. Same with Stanford beating USC—in that case it would also help the Cardinal project over .500.

Then there’s the Nebraska-Penn St. game tonight, which will most likely eliminate the loser from NIT consideration. (Neither is in the bracket today because they’re currently both projected to finish under .500.)

If your team isn’t in this bracket know that I considered a ton of teams. I also found myself reconsidering Evansville. The Purple Aces have a much better resume than you might think from just looking at good wins and losses. They also have a great opportunity on Saturday when they host Northern Iowa in their Missouri Valley Conference finale.

But one of the biggest shakeups has to do with a team that no longer projects to finish above .500. Georgetown has some good wins this season, but a three-game losing streak has sent the Hoyas to 14-14 overall and 7-8 in the Big East. KenPom sees them losing two of three down the stretch, so unless G’town does some damage in the Big East tournament they wouldn’t qualify for the NIT. A big game to watch? Tuesday, March 1 when Georgetown travels to Marquette for what could be another NIT eliminator style game.

Now for the bracket. As always this is a projection of what will happen on Selection Sunday—including team projections through the end of the season—and is thus based on more than the resumes of today.

Last into NCAA tournament: Texas Tech, Wisconsin, Saint Mary’s, VCU, Tulsa, Cincinnati, Colorado, Pittsburgh, Michigan, Florida, St. Bonaventure, Syracuse, Vanderbilt

NIT bracket (italics are in danger of losing spots to potential automatic bids):

1. George Washington
8. Boise St.
4. Kansas St.
5. Clemson
3. BYU
2. Florida St.
7. Marquette

1. Butler
8. Illinois St.
4. Evansville
5. Princeton
3. Houston
6. Mississippi
7. Fresno St.

1. Temple
8. James Madison
4. Georgia Tech
5. Hofstra
3. Washington
6. Georgia
2. Alabama
7. Northern Iowa

1. Oregon St.
8. UC Irvine
4. Creighton
5. Arizona St.
3. LSU
6. Davidson
2. Ohio St.
7. Albany

Seriously considered: Southern Illinois, Pepperdine, Columbia, Oakland, UT Arlington, Siena, Louisiana Tech, UTEP, Memphis, Towson, New Mexico, Northwestern, Nevada, Ohio, Iona, MTSU, Long Beach St., Virginia Tech, William & Mary

Projected under .500: Nebraska, N.C. State, Arkansas, Tennessee, Penn St., Stanford, Georgetown

26 thoughts on “NIT Bracketology: Feb. 25, 2016

  1. After Hofstra beats Princeton in their Lacrosse matchup out on Long Island tomorrow, Feb 27th, rest assured Princeton will do anything in their power to make certain that the #5 seed in their NIT bracket will be Hofstra, and that Hofstra will end up going on the road to Jadwin Gym, Princeton, to face #4 Princeton on March 17th or 18th!!!


  2. You have WAY UNDERESTIMATED the Mountain West teams (Fresno and Boiseand New Mexico) when its all said and done Fresno will get an NIT bid to host someone (because of their arena size and availability) Boise, if they get selected over New Mexico (also a likely first-round host team because of their arena and sell-out-ablity) Boise has to go on road because Taco Bell Arena is being used Look for Gonzaga to be on road first round west and BYU to play at their home Marriott Center someone alot closer in region to them but not IPFW!!


    1. I don’t think I’m underestimating the Mountain West teams at all. A really rough non-conference basically doomed the conference. One of Boise St. and Fresno St. will probably make the bracket, but I can’t see more than one given how things have gone. Boise projected RPI is 91. Fresno State’s is 99, Nevada 116 and New Mexico 117. Those aren’t how you get NIT slots.


  3. why would you NOT want to put Hofstra in the same bracket as Florida State??? (for revenge reasons remember Fla St lost to Hofstra in regular season!)


  4. You really do have way too much FAITH in #1 seeds winning their respective conference tournaments!! Approximately 8-10 Regular-Season winners (#1 seeds from their respective mid-major conferences) will yet again go down losing their Tournament, thus putting them into the NIT automatically!! Count on the following being in the NIT using that logic and recent statistics show that approximately 8+ conferences regular season winners end up losing their tournament 32-8 = about only 24 “at large” NIT selections According to my count above you only have at this moment, 3 Regular Season Champs losing their Conference Tournament (Hofstra, Temple, and IPFW) Count on at least another 5+ to lose and be included automatically if statistics hold true My additional ones to what you have would be 1. Weber St 2. Winthrop/High Point (Big South Reg Season winner) 3. SWAC Reg Season Winner (Texas Southern) 4. MAC Reg Season Winner (Akron because its WAY too competitive come tournament time!) 5. Belmont (same reason as MAC-Ohio Valley is way too competitive but is lacking on usual powerhouse Murray St to get the job done here!) 6. New Mexico St/Grand Canyon (depending on who wins regular season but one or the other who takes second place will win their respective tournament!)


    1. There are no projected #1 seeds losing in this bracket-and if there are it’s only because the standings have changed since I created my bracket. I am quite aware that 8-10 teams will lose in their conference tournaments, hence the 7/8 seeds are in italics. Those teams are actually on the bubble. I’ll be dealing with them when they happen. Also, Grand Canyon is ineligible for NCAA sanctioned postseason play (so no NCAA/NIT) because it’s transitioning to Division I.


  5. Valparaiso will probably lose the last game of conference tournament!! And, if you throw Valparaiso into Butler’s bracket Good bye Butler!!! Unfortunately Valpo no longer has “home field advantage” come the last game in tournament that advantange now swings over to the much closer OAKLAND to win the tournament in nearby Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena which is much closer to Oakland’s home fan base (which they’ll bring) “Kenpom” doesn’t look at the little but very important things like that when analyzing a game of such importance!!


  6. obviously I watched the Oakland vs Detroit game earlier tonight!! If Oakland keeps that kind of scoring pace up they will be a Giant-Killer first round for sure!!!


  7. tomorrow nights FRESNO at NEW MEXICO game should tell us how they really stand…..Fresno should win great shooting from the outside and good frontcourt If Fresno wins all 3 of their final games expect their RPI to be somewhere around 70 which is where they should be = about a 4 seed hosting first round of NIT Not as much confidence in Boise but if I was to pick one of those 3 (Boise New Mexico and Fresno) go with Fresno to make a serious “run” in the NIT!!! PS: I’ve been going to the NIT at the Garden to see the games for over 20 years now seen some of the best from Wichita (when they won it a couple of years ago) to Stanford to Florida State to BYU to Clemson to Fresno (when Coach Jerry Tarkanian was at the helm) plus many more!!! also dont forget OHIO STATE just lost a KEY PLAYER (foward Jae’Sean Tate) expect ANY TEAM to tackle them–in fact they may just get knocked out in first round!!


    1. There isn’t any rule that I’m aware of if you’ve only played once. Conference match ups in the 1st round tend to be avoided.


  8. First, the 8 seeds are usually low level teams who win their reg season conference but lose in their tournament. Second, Gonzaga will be in the field. Bank on it. Third, you can now have a losing record and play in the postseason.


    1. 1) I know that about the 8 seeds (and the 7 seeds), hence the reason those teams are in italics.

      2) Gonzaga is currently projected into the NCAA tournament because they were the #1 team in the WCC.

      3) You might be able to play in the NIT with an under .500 record, but no team has ever done it. Until that precedent changes I’ll continue to exclude those teams.


    1. I don’t think UNCW is going to be a Top 4 seed, but I haven’t looked at the Seahawks in much detail (because I had them as the NCAA auto-bid before this weekend). Tomorrow’s bracket will reflect Hofstra as the #1 seed in CAA and hopefully shed some light on where UNCW stands.


  9. Fresno beat New Mexico @”the Pit” in Albuquerque! What an ACCOMPLISHMENT! Well done, Fresno! Shows how well you guys are really playing late in the season!! Well that’ll pretty much eliminate New Mexico from any hopes of an NIT bid!! Meanwhile not to be undone, Saturday night what did BOISE end up doing on the road? they nailed a big “W” to their resume by defeating San Diego State at Viejas Center in San Diego! Both teams RPI’s now dropped into the 80’s range which pretty much solidifies them both to be NIT realistic candidate teams, unless one of the two of those teams wins the Mtn West Tournament in Vegas next week. My hunch is Fresno will win the Mtn West Tourn based on how hot they are playing at the present moment (as hot as you can get!) That being said, it puts San Diego State in a great position to get a very high seed for the far west bracket of 8 for the NIT probably a 2 seed right behind Oregon State!


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