The NIT is technically a comfort match, but it surely has routinely supplied a few of the most thrilling faculty basketball round lately. This season, the lads’s Nationwide Invitational Match once more contains a terrific area of groups who simply missed out on the NCAA match. There are not any simple outs amongst any of the 32 groups within the bracket.
The NIT options residence video games on faculty campuses by the primary three rounds. The match then strikes to Madison Sq. Backyard for the semifinals on March 29 and championship on March 31. Successful the NIT is traditionally a powerful signal for a program’s probabilities subsequent 12 months, and this 12 months’s area options a few of the greatest names within the sport.
Virginia, Oklahoma, Florida, and Texas A&M are only a few of the applications with massive budgets and enormous fanbases on this 12 months’s match. So who will probably be reducing down the nets? Listed here are our picks. You possibly can wager on the complete NIT area at DraftKings Sportsbook.
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Dayton is among the brightest younger groups within the nation to not make the NCAA match. The Flyers begin 4 freshmen and simply misplaced a heartbreaker to Richmond within the A-10 semifinals. We’ll take them over Toledo within the opener. On the opposite aspect of the bracket is the battle of Nashville: Vanderbilt vs. Belmont. The Bruins shoot 61 p.c from two-point vary, which is the very best mark within the nation. We’ll predict they pull off the hometown upset. We’ll take Dayton over Belmont within the second spherical.
Florida — now with out head coach Mike White, who has accepted the Georgia job — faces an enchanting first spherical matchup towards Rick Pitino and Iona. Pitino’s crew misplaced by just one level to Rider in MAAC match. We predict they’ll pull the upset over the Gators. We’ll take Xavier over Cleveland State, after which choose the Musketeers to beat Iona.
We’ll take Xavier over Dayton to achieve the Remaining 4 of the NIT.
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Oklahoma is the best rated crew in KenPom’s effectivity rankings to overlook the NCAA match. The Sooners completed simply 18-15 in head coach Porter Moser’s first 12 months, however there’s loads of expertise right here led by guard Jordan Goldwire and middle Tanner Groves. We’ll take Oklahoma over Missouri State, establishing a matchup with Colorado, who we’ll choose to defeat Saint Bonaventure. Give me the Buffs over Oklahoma within the second spherical.
We’ll choose Virginia to beat Mississippi State on the underside half of the bracket, after which go along with Texas State over North Texas. UVA will beat Texas State to arrange a matchup with Colorado.
Did you actually suppose we’d choose towards Tony Bennett? The Hoos are our choose to make the Remaining 4 within the NIT.
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SMU misplaced a heartbreaker to Memphis within the AAC match and didn’t get an at-large bid regardless of ending 23-8 general and 13-4 in convention. With a star guard in senior Kendric Davis, the Mustangs ought to advance simply previous Nicholls of their first recreation. We’ll take Washington State — powered by an extended, athletic, and younger entrance line of Efe Abogidi and Mouhamed Gueye — over Santa Clara. SMU over Wazzu within the second spherical.
Saint Louis has an excellent level guard in Yuri Collins — who’s No. 3 within the nation in help fee. The Billikens ought to have sufficient to get previous MVC star A.J. Inexperienced and Northern Iowa. We’ll take BYU over Lengthy Seashore State, after which anticipate Saint Louis to knock off BYU.
Give me SMU over Saint Louis to achieve the Remaining 4. The Ponies simply have a lot expertise with 5 senior starters and will have sufficient perimeter protection to advance to MSG.
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Texas A&M deserved a spot within the massive dance after an unbelievable run to the SEC tournament title recreation. As an alternative, the Aggies are an NIT power that ought to advance previous Alcorn simply. We’ll take Oregon over host Utah State even with out star guard Will Richardson. Geese middle N’Faly Dante ought to be a giant downside for Texas A&M’s entrance line, however 6’8 middle Henry Coleman poses his personal matchup issues. We’ll go along with Texas A&M within the second spherical assembly.
We’ll take VCU over Ivy League common season champ Princeton, and Wake Forest over Towson. That units up a star showdown between Wake’s Alondes Williams and VCU’s Vince Williams. Wake’s superb offense vs. VCU’s elite protection ought to be a terrific matchup. We predict the Demon Deacons have extra firepower on the supporting solid, led by 6’8 ahead Jake LaRavia, so give us Wake Forest in that matchup.
We’ll take Wake Forest over Texas A&M to achieve the Remaining 4.
NIT Remaining 4
Xavier vs. Virginia. SMU vs. Wake Forest.
Xavier has misplaced six of their final seven video games getting into the NIT, however a star guard like Paul Scruggs and a dependable 7-footer like Jack Nudge is the form of basis that may appropriate itself shortly. We’ll take the Musketeers over UVA and into the title recreation.
Can SMU’s protection cease Wake’s highly effective offense within the different semifinal? We aren’t relying on it. Put Wake into the title recreation.
We are going to choose Wake Forest to win the entire thing with a championship recreation victory over Xavier. The 1-2 punch of Williams and LaRavia is extraordinarily tough for matchup with, and the Deacons have sufficient round their two stars to win 5 straight video games within the NIT.
Wake Forest is our prediction to be NIT champion.