It’s like kissing your sister. (Sidebar: Don’t try that, you’ll get locked up). Most teams probably aren’t all that excited about going to the NIT, but someone has to go. This year, 10 teams earned automatic bids and the remaining 22 spots will be filled by a selection process, one that is quite similar to the NCAA Tournament Selection, but gets little attention in comparison.
With Princeton’s win today, my projected NIT field is complete. This was a tough process. The Regan Index would have included 3 teams that have a losing record – Tennessee, Pittsburgh, and Georgetown – as 3 of the at large bids. The NIT has no current rule against selecting teams with losing records, and it has happened, but I’m guessing it won’t this year. For that reason, I’ve excluded these teams. Pitt and Tennessee have very favorable resumes for the NIT, so it wouldn’t shock me if they are selected. Georgetown would be very surprising.
The 10 teams that earned auto bids:
Illinois St (unless they are selected by the NCAA committee), Texas-Arlington, Monmouth, Oakland, Belmont, UNC Greensboro, South Dakota, Cal St. Bakersfield, Akron, and UC Irvine.
My last 4 teams in (of the 22 at large bids): Richmond, Texas Tech, Boise St, Valparaiso (last in)
1st 4 out: Texas A&M (1st out), Colorado, Fresno St., Davidson
Others considered: Auburn, San Diego St., GW, George Mason, Memphis, New Mexico
Note that I moved Valpo into the field ahead of Texas A&M. Alec Peters was injured and missed several important games, and Valpo ran to the final last year. I’d personally put A&M in, but I’m trying to guess what the committee will do.
The projected field by region:
|6||Texas Tech||Richmond||Boise St.||Colorado St.|
|7||Oakland||Belmont||UNC Greensboro||Texas A&M|
|8||South Dakota||CS Bakersfield||Akron||UC Irvine|