With Mississippi State taking part in the National Invitational Tournament this year instead of the more sought after NCAA Tournament, we here at For Whom the Cowbell Tolls thought we'd take a crack at some Final Four predictions for which teams we see making it to the Garden in NYC when the dust settles. The tournament starts tonight with first round game taking place in 1/4 full arenas all over this great country.
Sure the NIT isn't the greatest place to be playing in this week in March, but it still deserves its own predictions, analysis, and coverage doesn't it?
The answer is yes.
So with that thought in mind, here's the predictions from a few of the guys at the site on who we see making the final four for the 1st losers big dance.
The Croom Diaries:
LSU - because they are from the SEC.
MTSU - because Kermit Davis went to State
Mississippi State - because Rick Stansbury is the greatest coach ever
Oral Roberts - my wife works at a dentist office.
Dayton - The Fliers are my pick just because I do not like anyone else out of that region.
Ole Miss - The Rebels play hard, and their athleticism will make them a tough out. The Rebels were close to making the dance, and I figure they will look at the NIT as a business trip.
Tennessee - A bunch of top four seeds breathed a sigh of relief when the Volunteers did not make the NCAA bracket. Take a look at this team's record since January. They are on fire.
Mississippi State - This Kool-Aid tastes fantastic. There is not a more talented team in the NIT. This is a shot at redemption, a chance to make things better. Not right, but better. They will take advantage of it.
Arizona - Seeing as is Scott Stricklin is an NIT virgin (as an Ath Dir), Greg Byrne has to show the grasshopper the ropes yet again. 'Zona and Sean Miller are always dangerous. Speaking of, wonder if he regrets leaving Xavier?
Tennessee - They play unbelievable defense and their path to the final 4 is weaker than the AAA MPSA tournament.
LSU - My dark horse pick. Don't know why, I'm just feeling that Johnny O'Bryant is about to go all Neon Boudreaux on everyone.
Seton Hall - No way I pick MSU out of this bracket. Moultrie and Bost are pissed we're even in it, Wendell Lewis doesn't want to practice and Rick Stahhhhnsbury can't pronounce "freshmen" correctly.
Oregon - Their court looks like a forest and their jerseys look like safety vests. It's like a hunting accident waiting to happen. Ducks. Rifles. GET OUT OF THE WAY.
Minnesota- I don't know what's more impressive: The way Tubby Smith managed to win a few games despite a rash of injuries or Saul Smith's (Tubby's son and Minn. asst coach) continuous transformation into the Artist Formerly Known as Prince.
UMASS - Marcus Camby, Carmelo Traveiso, Edgar Padilla, Donta Bright, and Dana Dingle. There's not a stronger starting 5 in the field... What's that? It's not 1996? Ah, who cares. Does anyone even watch this tournament?
Butler - Brad Stevens continues to impress me with his genius. In an unprecedented move, he traded Butler's 2012 CBI berth and another meaningless post-season tournament appearance to be named later to Cleveland St. for their spot in this year's NIT.
Washington - They are one of the few teams I've ever seen that wins their conference but because it's so weak they miss the NCAA's. I would look for them to be fired up, and with the 1 seed they should be sitting with home court advantage all the way up to the Final 4 in the Garden
Tennessee - One of the hottest teams in the SEC coming down the stretch, I would look for that to continue.
Ole Miss - If anyone can teach a team to choke the life out of its opponent, it's Andy Kennedy. His Rebels will "cabbie" their way all the way to MSG.
Story Book - Impressed with Seton Hall, but I think Story Book comes out of the Northeastern Region. Prince Charming has really stepped up his defense towards the end of the season, and Little Red Riding hood is finally making her 3's. I think if they can get better low post play from Hantzel and Grettle, they'll be smooth sailing to NYC.
happy NITing, you guys!