NIT Bracketology - Intro to the final weekend

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After a crazy day of games on Friday the brackets are getting clearer. Desperate Big Ten teams jumped off the bubble and into the NCAA Tournament with victories in the quarterfinals and started clearing up a little bit of the seeding picture. What isn't clear is how it affects the NIT bracket. Any of the Top 8 teams in the NIT here could be judged worthy by the committee, unfortunately I have no magic powers to determine if that's the case. 

Also, I've been very thoroughly going through the bottom of the bracket as more upsets continue to shape how it looks. Thus the bottom nine seeds now belong to automatic bids and two others appear higher in the bracket in UAB and Missouri State
The final six NCAA Tournament teams in this current scenario are: Richmond, St. Mary's, Virginia Tech, Penn State, Alabama and Memphis. Now without further ado, the brackets.

1. UAB
8. Bethune-Cookman*
4. Baylor
5. Marshall
3. California
6. Charleston*
2. Colorado State
7. Vermont*
1. VCU
8. Coastal Carolina*
4. Oklahoma State
5. Cleveland State
3. Missouri State
6. Northwestern
2. USC
7. Florida Atlantic*
1. Georgia
8. Texas Southern*
4. Miami (FL)
5. Southern Miss
3. Nebraska
6. Wichita State (final at-large)
2. New Mexico
7. Fairfield*
1. Colorado
8. Murray State*
4. Mississippi
5. Maryland
3. Washington State
6. Princeton
2. Boston College
7. Milwaukee*
  • There might be some slight seed reshuffling in order to cut down on travels costs. For instance if you swapped Maryland and Southern Miss you'd get geographically nicer match ups and wouldn't affect the seed lines at all. That's the best example in this particular bracket.
  • There are some assumptions made in this bracket: 1) Harvard is the Ivy League champion. 2) UTEP is the Conference USA champion. Those don't seem particularly bold, but it's possible both could change by tomorrow when I will prepare to publish my final bracket around 4 p.m. CT an hour before Selection Sunday begins in earnest.
  • Also, Baylor is back in the bracket. The Bears get in here because a lot of people have argued for their inclusion. That said, we have no idea how the team will play without Perry Jones III and I think giving them a home game is awfully generous. Still, their body of work should land them right in that area if that's how the committee decides to deal with their case.
  • Since people ask a lot. Teams that were considered for the final at-large spots (which went to Wichita State and Princeton) were: Tulsa, Drexel, Iona, James Madison, Hofstra, Dayton and Valparaiso. Once again those aren't in any particular order. Just want you to know who was on my radar as we move down the stretch. I thought Defiantly Dutch wrote a compelling article about the seeding process, but alas I couldn't find a place for any this time around.
Finally, a few more automatic bids could be cashed in on Saturday. I'll be providing updates of a more timely fashion on Twitter @chicolbball if you want to check in.

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