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tBBC tBBC March Madness Bracketology: The NIT Tournament

Discussion in 'News' started by Joe Dexter, Mar 15, 2016.

  1. Joe Dexter

    Joe Dexter Guest

    tBBC March Madness Bracketology: The NIT Tournament
    Joe Dexter
    via our good friends at Buckeye Battle Cry
    Visit their fantastic blog and read the full article (and so much more) here

    Tuesday and Wednesday we’ll be giving you our insight into each NCAA Tournament Region, looking for the storylines that you may not have read elsewhere.

    The Buckeyes play Akron tonight, but there is a lot more to know about America’s secondary postseason Tournament.

    Here’s a preview of this year’s National Invitational Tournament.

    Despite Ben Simmons and the LSU Tigers staying home during the postseason, The National Invitational Tournament field might be the deepest it’s been in quite some time.

    Monmouth, which has the best dance moves of any bench in college basketball, has beaten the likes of UCLA, Notre Dame, USC, Georgetown, Iona, and Wagner. They played Dayton down to the wire.

    St. Bonaventure competed in the very tough Atlantic 10 and beat the likes of Dayton and St. Joseph’s. They finished the season with seven wins over top-70 teams.

    The Bonnies have a top 30 RPI, as do the Akron Zips, who will face Ohio State in the opening round later today.

    We all know how talented the Buckeyes can be when their youngsters put it together on the court.

    South Carolina was probably the first team on the outside looking in for the NCAA Tournament. They host High Point at home, where they are 15-2 on the season. They also have wins over Tulsa, Memphis and Texas A&M.

    Those teams don’t even begin to tell the whole story about this tournament and why it might be enjoyable to watch for the first time in a long time.

    To download the full NIT Bracket, click here.

    Tournament Favorite: Ohio State might be a homer pick, but you have to love their seeding in this tournament. As a three seed, if they get past Akron, they’ll more than likely take on a beatable Florida team. From there, there toughest competition in the whole tournament will come from South Carolina in the semifinals of the NIT.

    Unless you think Monmouth would give the Buckeyes a run for their money.

    The Gamecocks got royally screwed on Selection Sunday. The fact that Tulsa, Michigan, and Syracuse made it in over them, is a joke.

    That being said, it’ll be interesting to see if Frank Martin can get his team to play fired up basketball after being upset by the committee, or if they’ll be a letdown in the NIT.

    Cinderella: Belmont hasn’t had the greatest season, but if we know anything from their past, head coach Rick Byrd knows how to coach a tournament team.

    Byrd has led the Bruins to the postseason in 11 of the last 13 seasons. They’ve been to the NCAA Tournament in 7 of the last 11 years.

    Since 2006, they’ve won six automatic bids into the NCAA Tournament by winning the OVC.

    This year, they fell short to surprise Austin Peay, but they still have the tools as a six seed in the NIT, to beat the likes of Georgia in the first round and either St. Mary’s or New Mexico State in the second round.

    In close games, I like Belmont’s ability to survive and advance. Even though they fell in the biggest game of the season and lacked consistency throughout the year. When you have a coach like Byrd, who has been around for 30 years, and is among the greatest of greats when it comes to wins.

    Most likely upset: Because the NIT Tournament Committee got things right for once with it’s top seeds, I don’t see any major upsets. Of course, it’s hard to call any game in the NIT, “Upset Worthy”.

    Generally, if a top seed, better known as the four teams that probably could win a game in the NCAA Tournament, is beat in the first game — you can consider it an upset.

    Other than that, everything’s a wash.

    I don’t see Monmouth, Valpo, South Carolina, or St. Bonaventure losing their first round match ups.

    There are a lot of 3/6 games that could have letdown written all over them.

    The Buckeyes have a tough test with a very good Akron team, that finished with a top 30 RPI at the end of the season, despite losing to Buffalo in the MAC tournament.

    Georgia, who upset South Carolina in the SEC tournament, will face Belmont, who can compete with anyone in the field. Virginia Tech faces a very game Princeton squad, while Washington meets Long Beach State.

    Unheralded Player: Kyle Collinsworth has more triple- doubles in his career than any other player in NCAA history. Yet nobody talks about him as the difference maker he is. BYU had a chance at an NCAA bid this year and to be frank, the only reason is because of their playmaking senior guard. The 2016 WCC Player of the Year is worth the price of admission alone and I can’t wait to see how he responds to being in the NIT>

    MSG Teams: Who will make it to the semifinals at Madison Square Garden? I like South Carolina, Ohio State, Valpo, and BYU.

    This tournament isn’t about the best teams advancing. The groups that have performed mediocre, that want it more, always win this tournament.

    Valpo has played hungry basketball all season long. Ohio State has a lot to prove, and I see them taking advantage of the opportunity to get more time on the court.

    Valpo might be just too much for them though in the finals.

    The post tBBC March Madness Bracketology: The NIT Tournament appeared first on The Buckeye Battle Cry: Ohio State News and Commentary.

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