I'm working on a post where I'm going to propose some changes to the RPI, in order to come up with a metric that can be used to sort teams that isn't mathematically flawed the way RPI is. But for now, I wanted to hit a few topics that, by themselves, don't warrant full blog posts. But I want to get them out for public consumption.
1) Three times in 11 years, a bubble team makes the final four (Mason, VCU, Syracuse). This just proves that bubble talk is actually important. It actually matters who gets in and who gets out. Syracuse was a true bubble team this year (although the media narrative that they should've been out is a bit too revisionist - they had a reasonable case). Do we know that Valpo or SDSU can't make that type of run, especially with that region being cleaned out in the bottom half? This is why bubble discussion matters, because there are several teams that didn't make the tourney that could've made the run Syracuse made.
2) This is going to sound blasphemous and counter to everything I stand for...but I think the NIT is going to have to get rid of autobids (or increase their field). There's good teams being left out of the NIT, and there's a big imbalance between the 8 line and the 6 line in that tournament. Now that the CIT is established, those low-level conference champs do have another home, and actually have a chance to play for several games instead of just 1, maybe 2. It runs counter to my general philosophy, but I think this is best for everyone.
3) Vegas should keep their tourney at 8 going forward, and frankly I think all those teams should migrate back to the CIT anyways. If anything, the CIT should adopt the Vegas 8. Have 32 teams play down to 8 the first weekend, then send those 8 to Vegas. Something like that would work best for the low-level tourneys.
4) It's important to seed the bottom four lines correctly. This is what happens when you match a 1 seed (Michigan St) with a 14 seed (MTSU), only you call it a 2-15.
5) I know you shouldn't use tournament results to justify selection/seeding, but you can't tell me that mass ejection by the Pac-12 on the first weekend had nothing to do with their overvaluing. More about this in the RPI post coming in the next couple of weeks.