Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Just The Facts: Automatic bid winners in the NIT

Murray Williams from my hometown sends the ball skyward as UConn wins the 1988 NIT. Hey Hofstra, replace this as my favorite NIT moment.

Good afternoon and welcome to the first-ever Just The Facts: NIT edition. It’s not what we want, but hey, at least it’s not the goddamn CBI.

With fifth-seeded Hofstra beginning (and hopefully not ending) NIT play tonight at  fourth-seeded George Washington (the absurdness of this will be written about later), I thought it’d be interesting to take a look at how teams that received an automatic bid into the NIT have fared since 2006, when the NCAA took over the tournament and made a flawed thing a million times worse.

Short version: The Flying Dutchmen are going to have to make history if they want to ride our anger train, and the god forsaken LIRR, all the way to Madison Square Garden.

Automatic bid entrants are just 34-95 in the NIT in the last 10 seasons. Only one automatic bid winner has ever made it to the final four—and that was BCS school Washington, which was a 1 seed after winning the Pac-12 regular season title in 2012. (A BCS school having to settle for an NIT auto bid. Cats and dogs, mass hysteria!)

While no mid-major automatic bid winner has ever reached the NIT final four, nine have reached the quarterfinals, including two in each of the last two seasons and three in 2012. 

The Dutchmen need two wins to tie the school record for victories in a single season and three to set a new mark. I told myself I wouldn’t get excited about this damnit. 

Anyway, here is the raw data. All automatic bids went 0-1 in the NIT unless otherwise noted.

2015 (seed/league)
Louisiana Tech (3/C-USA) 2-1
Murray State (3/Ohio Valley) 2-1
South Dakota State (8/Summit) 1-1
Iona (6/MAAC)
Central Michigan (6/MAC)
William & Mary (7/CAA)
UC Davis 7(/Big West)
Montana (7/Big Sky) 
North Carolina Central (7/MEAC)
Bucknell (8/Patriot)
Charleston Southern (8/Big South)
St. Francis (8/NEC)
TOTAL: 5-12, two teams to QFs

2014 (seed/league)
Louisiana Tech (3/C-USA) 2-1
Belmont (5/Ohio Valley) 2-1
Robert Morris (8/Northeast) 1-1
Green Bay (4/Horizon)
Iona (6/MAAC)
Georgia State (6/Sun Belt)
Boston U. (7/Patriot)
Davidson (7/Southern)
Utah Valley 7/(WAC)
Vermont (7/America East)
UC Irvine (8/Big West)
Florida Gulf Coast (8/Atlantic Sun)
High Point (8/Big South)
TOTAL: 5-13, two teams to QFs

2013 (seed/league)
Louisiana Tech 5/(WAC) 51/13th league 1-1
Mercer (7/Atlantic Sun) 1-1
Robert Morris (8/Northeast) 1-1
Stony Brook (7/America East) 1-1
Stephen F. Austin (5/Southland)
Long Beach State (7/Big West)
Niagara (7/MAAC)
Northeastern (8/CAA)
Charleston Southern (8/Big South)
Norfolk State (8/MEAC)
TOTAL: 4-10, no teams to QFs

2012 (seed/league)
Washington (1/Pac-12) 3-1
Drexel (3/CAA) 2-1
Middle Tennessee State (4/Sun Belt) 2-1
Nevada (5/WAC) 2-1
Bucknell (8/Patriot) 1-1
Oral Roberts (4/Summit)
Akron (5/MAC)
Valparaiso (7/Horizon)
Savannah State (8/MEAC)
Stony Brook (8/America East)
UT-Arlington (8/Southland)
TOTAL: 10-11, four teams to QFs, one to SFs

2011 (seed/league)
Charleston (6/Southern) 2-1
Kent State (7/MAC) 2-1
Missouri State (3/Missouri Valley) 1-1
Fairfield (6/MAAC) 1-1
St. Mary’s (2/West Coast)
Milwaukee (5/Horizon)
Murray State (6/Ohio Valley)
Florida Atlantic (7/Sun Belt)
Long Beach State (7/Big West)
Vermont (7/America East)
Bethune-Cookman (8/MEAC)
Coastal Carolina (8/Big South)
McNeese State (8/Southland)
Texas Southern (8/SWAC)
TOTAL: 6-14, two teams to QFs

2010 (seed/league)
Kent State (4/MAC) 1-1
Jacksonville (8/Atlantic Sun) 1-1
Coastal Carolina (7/Big South)
Troy (7/Sun Belt)
Weber State (7/Big Sky)
Jackson State (8/SWAC)
Quinnipiac (8/NEC)
Stony Brook (8/America East)
TOTAL: 2-8, no teams to QFs

2009 (seed/league)
Davidson (6/Southern) 1-1
Bowling Green (8/MAC)
Jacksonville (8/Atlantic Sun)
Tennessee-Martin (8/Ohio Valley)
Weber State (8/Big Sky)
TOTAL: 1-5, no teams to QFs

2008 (seed/league)
UC Santa Barbara (7/Big West)
Stephen F. Austin (7/Southland)
Utah State (7/WAC)
Alabama State (8/SWAC)
Morgan State (8/MEAC)
UNC-Asheville (8/Big South)
Robert Morris (8/NEC)
TOTAL: 0-8, no teams to QFs

2007 (seed/league)
Marist (7/MAAC) 1-1
South Alabama (7/Sun Belt)
Toledo (7/MAC)
Vermont (7/America East)
Austin Peay (8/Ohio Valley
Delaware State (8/MEAC)
East Tennessee State (8/Atlantic Sun)
Mississippi Valley State (8/SWAC)
TOTAL: 1-8, no teams to QFs

2006 (seed/league)***
Manhattan (9/MAAC) 2-1
Delaware State (10/MEAC) 1-1
Western Kentucky (6/Sun Belt)
Northern Arizona (9/Big Sky)
Fairleigh Dickinson (10/NEC)
Georgia Southern (10/Southern)
Lipscomb (10/Atlantic Sun)
TOTAL: 3-7, no teams to QFs
***This was the last year of the 40-team tournament and Manhattan reached the "second round" after winning outbracket and first round games

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