NIT 2012 Bracket: Projections for Every Tournament Game

Wes ODonnell@wesodonnellFeatured ColumnistMarch 12, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 06:  Herb Pope #15 of the Seton Hall Pirates reacts after scoring against Kadeem Batts #10 of the Providence Friars during their first round game of the 2012 BIG EAST Men's Basketball Tournament at Madison Square Garden on March 6, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

The best part about the NIT Tournament is the NCAA Tournament snubs who come out with a vengeance and want to stick it to the committee.

Some teams go into the tank and completely underwhelm, but others actually step up to the plate and not only handle their business, but do so with stellar play.

There are more than a few teams in this year's field with a legitimate argument against their exclusion from the big dance; this is their only chance to show it.

Printable Bracket can be found here, courtesy of the official NIT website.

Region 1

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 08:  Tony Wroten #14 of the Washington Huskies goes up for a shot in the lane against Jared Cunningham #1 and Ahmad Starks #3 of the Oregon State Beavers  in the second half during the quarterfinals of the 2012 Pacific Life Pac-12
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

No. 1 Washington vs. No. 8 UT-Arlington

The Huskies have to be beyond angry that California snuck into a play-in game while they didn't even get that second chance to make the tournament field. Their only shot at revenge starts against a UTA team that didn't face much top talent this year. The Huskies' athleticism should be enough for the win.

No. 4 Northwestern vs. No. 5 Akron

A battle-tested Northwestern from the Big Ten will overwhelm the Zips.

No. 3 Oregon vs. No. 6 LSU

Two power conference foes get a chance to square off after their respective conferences underwhelmed (minus Kentucky in the SEC) for much of the year. LSU is feisty, though, and after just falling short against the Wildcats, it'll come out and make something happen here.

No. 2 Dayton vs. No. 7 Iowa

The Flyers nearly snuck into the Big Dance with a conference tournament run, but came up short. That won't happen against the Hawkeyes.

Region 2

No. 1 Tennessee vs. No. 8 Savannah State 

The Volunteers are a tournament-talented team that struggles with consistency. They're too good for the Tigers.

No. 4 Middle Tennessee vs. No. 5 Marshall

The Blue Raiders won't let Marshall into this game early.

No. 3 La Salle vs. No. 6 Minnesota

The Golden Gophers has a brutal February, but will find some solace in beating up on La Salle.

No. 2 Miami vs. No. 7 Valparaiso

The Hurricanes have a solid argument (although they simply lost too many games) with wins over Duke and Florida State this year. They'll be one of the three teams to beat in the NIT. 

Region 3

No. 1 Seton Hall vs. No. 8 Stony Brook

The top team to beat is the Hall, and they'll absolutely pummel the Seawolves.

No. 4 Mississippi State vs. No. 5 UMass

FAYETTEVILLE, AR - JANUARY 7:  Julysses Nobles #23 of the Arkansas Razorbacks tries to block the shot of Arnett Moultrie #23 of the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Bud Walton Arena on January 7, 2012 in Fayetteville, Arkansas.  (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty I
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

The Bulldogs have the best player on the court in Arnett Moultrie, and he'll make all the difference.

No. 3 Drexel vs. No. 6 Central Florida

The Dragons' loss to VCU in the CAA Championship hurt, and they'll still be feeling the hangover when they play the Knights.

No. 2 Saint Joseph's vs. No. 7 UNI

Angry about not getting a tourney bid after their second loss to the Bonnies in the last three games, the Hawks will take it out on Panthers.

Region 4

No. 1 Arizona vs. No. 8 Bucknell

The Wildcats are heading straight into the tank after missing the big dance.

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 08:  Andrew Zimmermann #34 of the Stanford Cardinal boxes out David Kravish #45 of the California Golden Bears during the quarterfinals of the Pac12 Men's Basketball Tournament at Staples Center on March 8, 2012 in Los Angeles, Cal
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

No. 4 Oral Roberts vs. No. 5 Nevada

The Golden Eagles are going to shoot the Wolfpack right out of the gym.

No. 3 Stanford vs. No. 6 Cleveland State

No way the Tree loses to a Vikings team that lost six of its last eight games.

No. 2 Ole Miss vs. No. 7 Illinois State

The Rebels closed the season before running into eventual SEC Tournament champion Vanderbilt in the postseason. They'll continue that against the Redbirds.


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