Monday, March 13, 2017

News On The Horizon 3/13/2017

Oakland lands NIT berth, to open vs. Clemson--Detroit News
Golden Grizzlies to face Clemson in NIT--Oakland Press
Flames Earn Invitation to CBI Presented by FIVE
UWGB men accept offer to play in CBI--Green Bay Press Gazette
Green Bay Accepts Bid to CBI, Opens Play Wednesday Night at
Wrapping Up NIT Bracketology--NYC Buckets
The Bubble

Valparaiso and Georgia Tech ultimately made it into the bracket where I had UNC Asheville and Ohio State instead. Thirty of 32 teams is about my running average, so I’m not too excited about it. It’s also always fun when the committee chair comes on ESPNU and says that the two other teams they seriously considered were the two teams in my bracket that were left out. C’est la vie when it comes to bracket projections.

Valparaiso and Georgia Tech each come with their downsides. Valpo will be playing without their best player, Alec Peters, when they head to Champaign, IL to take on Illinois. Georgia Tech has really struggled on the road this season and had an RPI of 106, which makes them one of the highest to get into the field in the past five years. Good news though for Yellow Jacket fans. They lucked into a home game as a No. 6 seed because Indiana can’t host its first round game. Both choices by the committee are certainly defensible.
Bracket impressions: Little changes with selection committee fixations--Hoopville
As much as any team in the 2017 NCAA Tournament, though, it is the aforementioned Vanderbilt that sums up the state of college basketball hierarchy and NCAA tourney selection right now.

A year ago as head coach at Valparaiso, Bryce Drew coached a team that went 26-6 through the regular season and Horizon League Tournament, defeated NCAA 7 seed Oregon State on the road, blew through its conference in the regular season before being upset in its league tourney-and was left out of the NCAAs.

Drew jumped ship to Vanderbilt after the Crusaders’ season ended all the way in the NIT championship game. In his first year, the Commodores started slowly, but got tougher as the season went on, picked up the pace late and finished with a 19-15 record.

Valparaiso’s NIT finalist team last year was flat-out better than Vanderbilt’s team last year or this year. Yet the Crusaders lost out on a bid to the Commodores last year, then lost their coach, and then watched that coach’s team lose 15 games this year and make the NCAAs. As a 9 seed, and the highest rated of 9 seeds at that.

The scars from last year’s selection miscues still run deep. Monmouth, St. Bonaventure and Valparaiso-all teams that should’ve been selected a year ago-did not get back into at-large consideration this year, even with veteran teams returning.

It’s not easy for teams like them to get to this point, the precipice of at-large consideration, and it’s even harder when such teams’ coaches are regularly plucked as soon as they do have big success. That’s why it’s especially essential that the committee is doing all it can to fairly evaluate these teams. This year showed, though, that little has changed, and it still has a long, long way to go to get back to that point.
NIT bracket 2017: Illinois State earns a 1 seed, while Valparaiso makes the cut--Mid-Major Madness
Then there’s 1 seed Illinois State, who ended up just outside the NCAA Tournament field, and Valparaiso who received an NIT at-large bid.
Illinois to face Valpo as No. 2 seed in NIT; Illinois State gets No. 1 seed--Chicago Tribune
Valparaiso captures NIT berth, will open at Illinois on Tuesday--Post-Tribune
Valparaiso to meet Illinois in NIT--NWI Times
Valpo Earns NIT At-Large Berth, Opens at Illinois Tuesday
Men's Basketball 2017 NCAA Tournament South Region Round of 64 Game Breakdowns--College Sports Madness
#2 Kentucky vs. #15 Northern Kentucky

Kentucky is rolling heading into the NCAA Tournament and when they are playing at a frenetic pace, they are tough to deal with for any team. Malik Monk is averaging just over 20 points per game on the season and if De’Aaron Fox and Edrice Adebayo play at a high level the matchup nightmares for opposing coaches will be endless. Northern Kentucky is making its first appearance in the NCAA Tournament after winning the automatic bid out of the Horizon League. The Norse come into the NCAA Tournament with a lot of confidence as they have won 12 of their last 14 games and will be very excited to take on the Wildcats. Drew McDonald is the leading scorer for Northern Kentucky at 16.4 points per game and is shooting 48.2 percent from the floor. Kentucky should move on to a very dangerous second round matchup with either Wichita State or Dayton.
Northern Kentucky University fans celebrate NCAA Tournament berth, matchup with UK--WCPO
It's Happening: Northern Kentucky Draws Kentucky in NCAA Tournament--River City News
BREAKING: NKU to play Kentucky in NCAA Tournament--The Northerner
@NKUNorseMBB earns 15-seed, faces No. 2 Kentucky in NCAA
Northern Kentucky to Face Kentucky in NCAA Tournament--The Horizon League
Oakland, Valparaiso Earn NIT Bids--The Horizon League

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