NIT Bracket Projection...Hogs a #1 seed (March 9)

NIT Bracket Projection

What this says is we are right at the edge of an NCAA selection. Kind of like First Four Out. This also translates to any kind of significant run like to the semis or finals of SECT and we could be in.

And should we end up in NIT, few more games to watch Joe, Jones and Whitt trio together at BWA and a chance to end up at MSG in the NIT Final Four.

Keep in mind, this is ONE projection…several are out there. I’ve seen us as low as a 3 seed.

Also - of course - there are several games yet to be played that will affect not only us, but also other teams that we likely will be competing with for top NIT seeds. Texas - if they indeed miss the NCAAT - is one of them. Oh how I’d love to have them come to our place as a #2 seed in a regional final.

Interesting pairings in this particular projection, in that Mike Anderson and St. Johns could come to BWA in round 2.

I hope not. There is one poster on here who would lose his mind.

I’d love to play St Johns. Mike can’t make it past the second round.

If that matchup happens, for once we will have more size than our opponent.

What are the qualifications for making the NIT? At worst, SJ will have a record of 16-16 going into NIT. Do you not need a winning record to get selected or is it strictly based on NET rankings?

Winning record is no longer required. Any conference champion who doesn’t get into the Dance is automatically in, otherwise it’s a selection committee.

So, these bracket projectors must be putting SJ into the bracket based on its NET ranking. Maybe NET ranking is what makes Arkansas #1 seed

NET ratings of their #1 seed projections:

Arkansas 47
Purdue 33
NC State 54

NET ratings of their second seeds:
Northern Iowa 48
Memphis 58
Moo U 50
Cincinnati 51

UCLA wouldn’t be anywhere close to a 1 seed if you’re going by NET. And NCSU is below three of the four 2 seeds.

Don’t I remember one year Mike had a .500 record and we did not get an invite?

And they hope they as a committee select the teams close to the cities of the larger, better teams selected, in order to increase NIT game attendance, gate income, concession sales, etc. Many cities bid for being an NIT site. AR has done this too in the past. Good for them. The over-all winner of the NIT can brag on being the #65 in the nation and the final 4 can brag on being better than 70th in the nation. Mr. SwineFusion may correct me on the starting # in the NIT field, but I think it starts at # 65 but could # 66 best in Div I college ball. No matter what the NET ranking is, if not in the NCAAs, then a team can brag on whatever they want… It’s all about juggling NET or other ranking entities.

SURE, we all know the lower ranked schools that win their conference might have a worse NET rankings than those that end up in the NIT that were had a higher NET rank. That’s the way it is. Still, at the beginning, the NCAA tournament schools will brag they were in the top 64 schools. So be it. Proves you need to get in the NCAA tourney to avoid the downplaying of SEC and other big conference teams who only get in the NIT. If offended, you better play hard all year. Hope this statement is clear to those who never did well in English composition in high school… cough cough

They changed the criteria in 2017. Winning record was required before that; .500 wasn’t good enough. Now there is no won/loss requirement. If the committee thinks a 15-17 team should be in, they can pick them. It hasn’t happened yet but there are some teams this year that might be considered with a losing record.

And IIRC there was one year that we turned down a bid. Which I disagreed with then and still do.


The NCAA is the 32 conference tournament champions and the 36 best other teams. Some of those 32 conference champs are nowhere near the top 68. Winthrop, for instance, is in the Dance with a NET of 146. They’ll be a 15 or 16 seed guaranteed. UALR is not much better at 141. The MEAC regular season champion is #257. SWAC is #202. If UALR gets in it might be a 15 or even a low 14 because 4 to 8 teams are even worse.

You can pretty much assume that the 13-16 seeds aren’t in the top 44-48, because the worst seed an at-large will get is a 12 and usually an 11.

Then we get to the NIT. Any conference regular season champ who doesn’t make the Dance (meaning is not one of the top 44 to 48 and doesn’t win its tournament) is automatically in the NIT. The other teams are those from 44 or 48 to whatever it takes to fill 32 teams.

Any school that is going to be in the NIT will ask to host, if only because of home court advantage. But with the seeding, the top four seeds in each bracket are going to host. If we get to host it’s because we’re a high seed, not because we can sell 15,000 tickets.

So, bottom line, the top seeds in the NIT are thought to be the 45th to 49th best, not the 69th best.

I for one would hate to lose game 1. Had enough disappointments this year … A chance you take.
But if we win one over a team we should beat in game 1 and then lose game 2 over someone lower than us in rankings, we have accomplished nothing except a 1-1 NIT record for 2020. It would prove again you were not an NCAA tournament team for sure. WIN the NIT and you have some bragging rights I guess, especially going into next year. That would overshadow being #64. Is it worth the chance?? Some say yes but there IS another side… I had lunch today with 6 other big U of A fans and contributors at Hermans. Two said accept and 5 said do NOT accept an NIT bid. Hey, players and coaches and the AD and BOD have the final say so and how if affects the program. We fans just talk or yak and give OUR ideas on things. So it is.

We’ll know we’re not an NCAA team Sunday afternoon. We may know it Wednesday night if we don’t beat Vandy. If we get to the semifinals we’d have to beat Vandy, South Carolina and LSU. We MIGHT be on the bubble at that point. More likely we’d have to get to the final, which would likely mean beating Auburn, even to reach the bubble.

I absolutely do not understand the sentiment of turning down the NIT because we get our feelings hurt that we’re not one of the top 48. And I would tell your four friends the same thing to their face, just like I’m telling you.

Could we lose the first NIT game? Sure. Just like we could lose to Vandy. But it’s a defeatist mentality to turn down more games because we’re afraid we might lose.

Good stuff and a bit complicated …
Guess they may expand the NCAAs later on and then we REALLY have a math problem to figure to invite. I like the top 44-48 selection # you derived but still not a top 35 to 40 like in the AP or Coaches polls. Another reason to get in the NCAA and hope to get in final 4 and forget bragging rights of top 44-48 and then losing the first game… Guess we just keep fingers crossed and win out, regardless of NIT or NCAA tourneys… TU for your expose’ and thoughts… Now I forget my #64-68 scenario… No more.

By the way, as the Sun Belt regular season winner, UALR is guaranteed at least an NIT bid. Could we have a rematch in Bud Walton of that exhibition? Could be…

I’m not expecting an NCAA expansion any time soon. At some point you run out of teams. Some would like it cut back to the old 64 and drop the First Four. I’m not expecting that either.

I have copied your post starting with “wrong” above. I will read it to my table friends and at Bordino’s and Does this week. Interesting the way you explain it and never thought of figuring out that system of rankings. The data and memory of how it’s done is not in my brain. I am an average fan I guess. So will put your post in my billfold for future arguments, as if I gathered the data!! LOL

Here’s another NIT Bracket projection. This one has us as a #2 in a region with a familiar foe sitting at #1