Monday, February 15, 2016

Some absolutely silly NIT/Vegas/CIT/CBI projections

DISCLAIMER: Always remember these are loose projections at best. We don't know who will turn down a bid to Vegas/CBI/CIT. The purpose of these is to show the types of teams in play for each tournament, not to make concrete predictions for any individual team.

Let's start with the moderately silly NIT projections:
The 1 line: Oregon St (14-9), Alabama (15-9), George Washington (18-7), Washington (15-10)
The 2 line: Texas Tech (15-9), Clemson (15-10), St Mary's (19-4), Tulsa (16-9)
The 3 line: Vanderbilt (15-10), UCLA (14-11), Creighton (17-9), Georgia (14-9)
The 4 line: Ohio St (16-10), Kansas St (14-11), BYU (18-8), Arizona St (14-12)
The 5 line: Davidson (13-9), Stanford (11-11), William & Mary (15-8), Ole Miss (16-9)
The 6 line: Virginia Tech (13-12), Nebraska (14-12), Boise St (15-9), Marquette (16-10)
The 7 line: Princeton (15-5), Northern Iowa (15-11), IPFW (18-7), Ohio (15-8)
The 8 line: UC-Irvine (17-7), Hofstra (17-8), Illinois St (15-11), Middle Tennessee (16-7)

History suggests the bottom 10 or so teams will get lopped off for automatic qualifiers. Naturally, that's where I put all the at-large mid major teams, to simulate the eventual screwing they'll get from the NIT committee. I don't think there's anything revolutionary about these, with the possible exception of sneaking VaTech and Nebraska in there on the 6 line. Their RPIs are dreadful but they might do enough in conference to get a look. Pretty good chance they'll both fall out with many losses, though.

Next, the Vegas 16. Again, remember that Vegas begins their own postseason tournament this year. A 16 team bracket, every game at a neutral site in Vegas. This is very wild speculation about who will show up. Take these not with a grain of salt but an entire salt factory. My guess is we see upper and high majors take spots in these tournaments as a preference to the CBI where you pay to host. I think Vegas will get first pick of many of the best teams available, since the neutral site format along with the quick nature of the tournament (the entire thing will take place over about 5 days) will attract many teams who would otherwise pass on the CBI and CIT.

So for now, let's go with these 16 teams as the best available not in the NIT:

Northwestern (17-9) vs. Oakland (18-9)
Southern Illinois (20-7) vs. Memphis (14-11)
Georgia Tech (13-12) vs. James Madison (18-8)
North Carolina St (13-12) vs. Richmond (14-10)
Rhode Island (14-11) vs. Evansville (19-7)
Houston (18-7) vs. New Mexico (15-10)
Nevada (13-9) vs. Long Beach St (12-12)
Grand Canyon (20-4) vs. Pepperdine (15-10)

Let's do the CIT next. As always, take a grain of salt with these projections. I am not attempting to guess which teams would decline a bid at this point. My goal is to highlight the types of teams who are best available for the CIT, and to give fans an idea of the types of opponents they might face in the tournament. Again, I repeat: I AM MAKING NO ATTEMPTS TO GUESS WHICH TEAMS WOULD DECLINE A CBI/CIT BID. If I see concrete evidence a team would decline a bid, then I won't project them.

Siena (18-9) vs. Albany (20-7)
Iona (14-10) vs. Buffalo (13-11)
Wagner (15-9) vs. Duquesne (14-10)
NJIT (15-11) vs. Columbia (15-8)

Navy (17-9) vs. Marshall (13-12)
Winthrop (15-7) vs. Charleston (15-9)
East Tennessee St (14-10) vs. Towson (16-9)
South Carolina St (12-12) vs. Furman (15-11)

Green Bay (13-11) vs. Omaha (15-10)
Wright St (14-11) vs. Tennessee St (16-7)
Kent St (15-9) vs. Belmont (17-9)
Louisiana-Lafayette (12-9) vs. Louisiana Tech (17-6)

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (16-6) vs. Texas-Arlington (16-7)
Southern (14-8) vs. Weber St (15-7)
UNLV (13-11) vs. North Dakota St (14-10)
Cal St-Bakersfield (15-7) vs. Fresno St (14-9)

And finally, the CBI. I took the liberty of projecting a few below .500 teams to simulate what will actually happen with the tournament. I am projecting that most or all mid-majors will lean to the CIT if given a choice between the CBI and CIT.

Mercer (16-9) vs. Central Florida (11-12)
Ball St (15-9) vs. Arkansas (12-13)
Boston (15-11) vs. Northeastern (13-13)
New Hampshire (13-10) vs. Penn St (12-13)
Indiana St (12-13) vs. Northern Illinois (13-8)
Toledo (15-9) vs. Tennessee (12-13)
UC Santa Barbara (10-12) vs. San Francisco (13-11)
Colorado St (12-11) vs. Oklahoma St (12-13)

Any finally, the list of best available not projected in a tournament. In practice, a majority, but not all, of these teams will eventually have a shot at a tourney as others turn down bids.
Georgia St (11-10), Milwaukee (14-10), Morehead St (13-11), Vermont (14-12)
Coastal Carolina (13-9), High Point (13-9), Eastern Washington (13-10), Incarnate Word (10-8)
Fordham (11-11), Elon (12-13), Denver (13-13), Utah St (10-11)
Lousiana-Monroe (11-12), Wofford (12-13), St Peter's (11-13), Fairfield (14-11)
Murray St (12-12), Army (14-11), Radford (12-12), FGCU (11-12)
Idaho (14-10), St Francis(PA) (12-12), Old Dominion (14-11), UTEP (14-11)

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