Here we have the second round to my guide revolving around the NIT. It involves some teams that have been in the NCAA tournament for what feels like decades, and some teams that have struggled under new coaching staffs.
This region of the bracket brings up a few teams that had a rough stretch in their season. South Dakota State brought a disappointing upset for Senior Mike Daum. Daum had stayed at SDSU to make a magical run in the Big Dance, but it looks like it’ll have to stay within the NIT. Texas just seems to have never gotten over the hump under Shaka Smart. That is why they find themselves in the NIT. Here are some teams I think are most likely to win this region.
- #1 Alabama: I don’t think it goes without cause that all of the number one seeds in this tournament are able to advance. This Alabama team is one that faced one of the toughest schedules in the NCAA. Coming from the SEC they should be ready for anything that their opponents will throw their way.
- #7 South Dakota State: Mike Daum will make it his life’s mission to see the Jackrabbits through in this tournament. Only time will tell how much he can carry on his back. I don’t believe that they will win the whole thing, but it will be interesting to see just how much damage they can do.
Potential Darkhorse: Colorado
In this quadrant we see a lot of teams that could possibly make some noise. TCU, Nebraska, Memphis, Creighton, and Loyola Chicago are all teams that could come out of this region. Overall these teams are probably some of the most comparable teams to matchup against one another. None of these teams are good enough to win this tourney. However, one has to go through.
- #1 TCU: Normally the Big 12 is one of the marque conferences in the nation. This year it looked like they took a step back. TCU however was not a reason for this step back. They only had two losses to teams that weren’t selected for the tournament.
- #4 Nebraska: The Huskers got hot at the right time. Though you’d think I was crazy to say this as they lost 11 of their last 14 regular season games. However, they beat Creighton, who is in this portion of the bracket, by 19.
- #3 Memphis: This is a team that is very scrappy. They lost to some teams that they probably shouldn’t have lost to, and also beat some teams that are in the field of 68. This is definitely a team that is capable of an upset or two.
Winner: TCU Horned Frogs
Potential Dark Horse: Nebraska Cornhuskers