The NCAA has announced the pairings for the 2012 NIT Championship – the tournament featuring schools that couldn’t get into the Big Dance. For better and for worse, my Tennessee Volunteers are among the NIT headliners. It’s disappointing only in that they were so close to NCAA Tourney consideration. But in all honesty, I have been hoping the Vols would go to the NIT rather than NCAA anyway. In the NCAA they are likely one-an-done; in the NIT they could be the ones cutting down the nets in Madison Square Garden in a couple weeks.
While I have not done this in the past, and probably few will care now, below is my initial bracket predictions for the NIT’s:
- 1 Washington Huskies > 8 Texas-Arlington Mavericks (Washington)
- 4 Northwestern Wildcats > 5 Akron Zips (Northwestern)
- 3 Oregon Ducks < 6 LSU Tigers (LSU)
- 2 Dayton Flyers > 7 Iowa Hawkeyes (Dayton)
- 1 Tennessee Volunteers > 8 Savannah St. Tigers (Tennessee)
- 4 Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders > 5 Marshall Thundering Herd (MTSU)
- 3 La Salle Explorers > 6 Minnesota Golden Gophers (LaSalle)
- 2 Miami Hurricanes < 7 Valparaiso Crusaders (Valparaaiso)
- 1 Seton Hall Pirates > 8 Stony Brook Seawolves (Seton Hall)
- 4 Mississippi State Bulldogs > 5 UMass Minutemen (Mississippi State)
- 3 Drexel Dragons > 6 Central Florida Knights (Drexel)
- 2 St. Joseph’s Hawks > 7 Northern Iowa Panthers (St. Joe’s)
Here are the actual NIT brakcets from the NCAA: 2012 NIT. Below are my initial predictions for the whole tournament. I will update it after each round to reflect my new predictions with the teams that are actually still in contention.
2012 NIT Champion: