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NIT Mock Bracket/Selection Shows Open Thread

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Will the Huskies be headed to the NIT?

Oregon State v Washington Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The NCAA tournament selection show is today and the Washington Huskies will not be mentioned. However, the NIT selection show is also today and at this point UW fans will take it as a consolation prize. But is an NIT berth in the cards? I decided to crunch the numbers and come up with my own NIT projections to see how nervous Washington fans should be feeling.

Everyone knows the rules for inclusion in the NCAA tournament but not everyone knows about the NIT so here’s a quick recap. The NIT is the backstop for programs that win their conference’s regular season title. In the case that a team wins the regular season, loses in their conference tournament, and isn’t an NCAA at large selection then they get an automatic berth in the NIT. Over the last 3 seasons there have been about 12 automatic bids per season.

The following teams have received auto bids to the NIT:

Arkansas Pine Bluff- SWAC

Florida Gulf Coast- Atlantic Sun

Hampton- MEAC

Harvard- Ivy

Louisiana Lafayette- Sun Belt

Middle Tennessee- Conference USA

Northeastern- CAA

Northern Kentucky- Horizon

Rider- MAAC

Southeastern Louisiana- Southland

UC Davis- Big West

UNC Asheville- Big South

Vermont- America East

Wagner- Northeast

That means there are 18 spots left for at large teams.

In order to determine which programs were deserving I created a formula (from 0 to 100) based upon the NCAA selection principles. Using the new quadrant system I gave each Q1 victory 3 points, Q2 victory 2 points, Q3 victory 1 point, and Q4 victory 0 points. Similarly, Q1 losses were worth 0 points, Q2 loss -1 point, Q3 loss -2 points, and Q4 loss -3 points. I also incorporated a team’s RPI as well as their KenPom rank as the representative for advanced metrics. It does a pretty good job of mirroring what all of the bracketology experts say.

Here are my standings based on who made the NCAA’s and who didn’t:

2018 NIT “Hopefuls”

Team Score Win Pts Loss Pts Margin RPI KenPom
Team Score Win Pts Loss Pts Margin RPI KenPom
USC 81 30 7 23 34 34
Louisville 77.86 22 3 19 38 33
Saint Mary's 75.29 20 6 14 37 35
Baylor 71.86 21 3 18 68 35
Oklahoma State 69.86 24 2 22 90 55
Notre Dame 69.14 25 12 13 70 31
Mid Tennessee 69 16 8 8 33 52
Marquette 68.86 23 7 16 57 53
Boise State 68 22 8 14 49 57
Utah 67.57 23 6 17 58 64
Miss State 66.71 21 4 17 73 62
Western Kentucky 65.86 19 11 8 60 39
Penn State 65.29 19 9 10 78 29
Nebraska 64.14 16 6 10 55 56
Oregon 63.43 25 10 15 72 75
LSU 62.86 26 11 15 94 61
Boston College 61.86 17 2 15 95 72
Stanford 59.86 23 10 13 86 85
Washington 59.71 22 10 12 71 97
Maryland 59.43 10 4 6 74 46
South Carolina 59.14 19 7 12 89 81
Temple 58.86 22 15 7 51 86
St. John's 57.86 24 13 11 96 79
Old Dominion 57.57 12 5 7 79 70

EDIT: 3:15p

The Huskies are currently 19th in my rankings among the at larges. There are 18 spots. However, Georgia just announced that because they fired their head coach that they’ll be declining a bid to the NIT. Which means UW is my last team into the tournament. I have UW as a 5 seed playing Nebraska. A win would put them up against Baylor.

To even make things this close required an apocalypse of bad results to put Washington in this spot. Fourteen #1 seeds in one bid leagues lost their conference championship. In an average year that number is twelve. And teams like Mid Tennessee, Vermont, and Louisiana were all heavy favorites who got upset.

Additionally, Rhode Island lost to Davidson which bumped a team down to the NIT and Western Kentucky lost to Marshall which bumped them down to the NIT.

Here’s my bracket based on the seeding rules for the NIT.

Louisville Region

#1 Louisville vs. #8 UNC Asheville

#4 Penn State vs. #5 Stanford

#3 Western Kentucky vs. #6 Northeastern

#2 Middle Tennessee vs. #7 Northern Kentucky

Baylor Region

#1 Baylor vs. #8 SE Louisiana

#4 Nebraska vs. #5 Washington

#3 Mississippi State vs. #6 Louisiana

#2 Notre Dame vs. #7 Harvard

USC Region

#1 USC vs. #8 Hampton

#4 LSU vs. #5 Vermont

#3 Boise State vs. #6 Rider

#2 Marquette vs. #7 Wagner

Saint Mary’s Region

#1 Saint Mary’s vs. #8 Arkansas Pine Bluff

#4 Oregon vs. #5 Boston College

#3 Utah vs. #6 UC Davis

#2 Oklahoma State vs. #7 Florida Gulf Coast