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Big Ten Bracketology Update: Um...the NIT, too!

One less mine lurking for Ohio State with Southern Mississippi’s upset of Middle Tennessee.

NCAA Basketball: Big Ten Conference Tournament-Ohio State vs Penn State Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

This is a Bracketology update for the NCAA Tournament and the NIT. I say those things not because you were unaware, but rather because SBNation likes when I put them in my articles, press “Auto-Link,” and WOWIEZOWIE! they get little hyperlinks attaching them to some section that you never actually read because this isn’t actually a news organization, it’s a collection of blogs where we shitpost about Brandon Scherff stealing cows and who the dreamiest Big Ten valentine is.

Anyways, the NCAA Tournament:


  • Not much changes beyond Ohio State losing one potential 5-12 upset special in Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders. The Blue Raiders were upset by 14-17 Southern Miss in the second round of the C-USA conference tournament. [/insert “This is March” tweet]
  • It was called to my attention that Michigan was not mentioned in my last Bracketology update. They have now been mentioned in this post.
  • I post that tweet not to present Joe Lunardi as some incontrovertible source that proves that Michigan State deserves to be seeded above Michigan [Narrator voice: “But they will be”], but that the Wolverines’ now almost-consistent model of “be competent in the Big Ten, but lose some weird games and finish really, really strong” is not going to make up for (1) lacking that non-conference signature win, and (2) not being named Michigan State. People will likely argue which one of those things is more important.
  • Purdue. (Now no one’s left out.)


Did this NCAA Tournament bracketology update do anything for you?

This poll is closed

  • 4%
    (7 votes)
  • 55%
    (82 votes)
  • 19%
    I would like to argue more about Michigan-Michigan State.
    (29 votes)
  • 19%
    I would like to argue more about Kenpom, RPI, and MNW’s Super-Holistic Rateapalooza.
    (29 votes)
147 votes total Vote Now

NIT Bracketology

Part of my theory for the NIT is that they need a new name for their process of doing predictive things and sketching out what the tournament will look like—”NIT bracketology” really doesn’t do it for me, because does anyone care about the actual “bracket” of the NIT? No one gathers around the Victrola or the Dumont RA109, eagerly waiting for Adnan Virk to read off the NIT seeds. It’s gotta change.

So we start with the word “bracket.” Obviously the NIT isn’t going to pool play anytime soon—that’d be madness, though calling Jerry Palm a “Poolologist” is a personal dream of mine. Maybe we try something from the world of chess, like Swiss Pairing tournaments. “Alright, Syracuse, you beat Rider in the opening round, meaning you’re matched up with card’s Middle Tennessee!” No one would ever know until the other team showed up at the arena to play—no time to scout or prep, just play.

OK, that might be a little much. But I’m not talking some big XFL-esque re-brand. Maybe a little shift in terminology or a change in how teams accept their bids—put Indiana, Boston College, and Tulsa in a Double Dare-style obstacle course: first team to escape the pirate bouncy-castle gets to head to Starkville for a 2-7 matchup with Mississippi State! You would watch this. Don’t deny it.


  • A special welcome to our friends at All Things NIT, which appears to be a weird Joe Lunardi Cosplay Convention-turned-NIT Poolology Seminar. If you ever need a Northwestern Poolologist, let’s talk—Graham doesn’t pay me enough.
  • Losses like the Middle Tennessee upset not only serve to dash my personal hopes of Marquette making the NCAA Tournament, but further sink the hopes of Nebrasketball. Sorry, Huskers. I really believed. But not even Northwestern lost to Illinois.
  • It feels like the Syracuse zone is made for the NIT—but I would tune in to watch Penn State try to shoot their way out of it, if we got that as a quarterfinal matchup.
  • Maryland having a potential road game to open the NIT is about as good a summation of the Terps’ season and Mark Turgeon’s tenure as I can think.
  • I want a world in which Indiana pays to play in the CBI. So badly. (Yes, Hoosier fan, I know they’ve always said they wouldn’t. But so must my dreams die?)


Which potential NIT quarterfinal appeals most to you?

This poll is closed

  • 10%
    Nebraska-Arizona State
    (26 votes)
  • 15%
    (38 votes)
  • 28%
    Penn State-Syracuse
    (69 votes)
  • 11%
    Penn State-Middle Tennessee
    (29 votes)
  • 19%
    Maryland-whomever, because I am a Terps fan
    (47 votes)
  • 14%
    Ain’t no one making it that far, MNW.
    (36 votes)
245 votes total Vote Now

Summit League Update!

‘Yotes lost, nothing matters anymore. #Yotes4CIT