Last season the Selection Sunday coverage of the NIT, CBI and CIT bids was some of the most viewed content ever on this site. This season we're going to start things up a little earlier. With Northwestern looking at missing the NCAA Tournament, again, the Wildcats are going to be looking at NIT seeding. They've got a good shot at getting a home game at Welsh-Ryan Arena.
Ground Rules: I used ESPN's Daily RPI report to get the RPI and SOS numbers. Yes, I compared resumes of teams like Drexel, Central Florida, College of Charleston and a whole host of teams near the bottom of major conferences. Any team not currently on Joe Lunardi's Bracketology
(February 4 version) was a possibility. That means you won't see Alabama in this NIT bracket, because technically the Tide are winning the SEC right now.
I had no idea what a challenge this was going to be and I now have a lot of understanding of the struggles people like SI's Andy Glockner
go through to create an NCAA Tournament bracket and Bubble Watch each week.
Note: I'll be doing this each Friday in February and then hopefully a little more frequently as March, and especially Championship Week, rolls around.
NIT Teams (by projected seed line, not sorted inside of it):
- Oklahoma State, Colorado State, Memphis, New Mexico
- Maryland, Richmond, Washington State, Southern Miss
- Valparaiso, California, Butler, Gonzaga
- UAB, Nebraska, Colorado, Clemson
- Mississippi, VCU, Dayton, Northwestern
- Drexel, Marshall, Arkansas, Baylor
- College of Charleston, Michigan, Northern Iowa, Miami (FL)
- Reserved for Smaller Conference Teams
The 8-seed line is reserved because I'm not sure yet how many teams will win their conference's regular season title and then not win their conference tournament. That's important in the NIT because those teams get auto-bids. Last season there were seven of them. Thus teams on the 7-seed line aren't safe either.
Other teams considered: Indiana, Princeton, USC, Central Florida, Providence, Seton Hall, Montana, Portland, Wright State, Hofstra, James Madison
If there's a team that you think I should've considered, or if you think your team is too low (or too high if you're honest) let me know. This is certainly a learning process for me.