The Preseason NIT was looking for a 16th and final team to be in their bracket. They found a blockbuster in the Michigan Wolverines.
The bracket is split up into four sections, with each of the main schools (Pittsburgh, Kansas St., and Virginia) in a separate region. Those four are arguably the best schools in the tournament and look to make it to the semifinals, but could encounter some hiccups along the way.
The Wolverines have the second hardest region. IUPUI and Bowling Green St. are afterthoughts, but Cleveland St. could give them fits in the quarterfinals. Regardless, expect Tim Hardaway Jr. and company to advance.
Pitt has the toughest region. They should dispose of Fordham fairly easily, but would get either Lehigh or Robert Morris in the quarterfinals. Lehigh has C. J. McCollum, who led them to an NCAA tournament win over Duke, while Robert Morris is competitive every year.
Kansas St. will take on Pat Knight‘s Lamar squad and then most likely go up against Tony Mitchell and North Texas. Mitchell is NBA talent, but the Wildcats should handle him.
Finally, Virginia, arguably the weakest of the four teams, gets the easiest region. Fairfield, Delaware, and Penn are all winnable games.
I expect to see Trey Burke lead the Wolverines to a Preseason NIT win over Rodney McGruder and Kansas St. Burke’s leadership, Hardaway Jr.’s scoring, and the Michigan shooters should be too much for the other teams to handle. This should be a big win for the Wolverines as they look to make themselves a national title contender.
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