2013 CIT Bracketology, Picks, & Bracket Predictions (FINAL UPDATE)

Last Updated: March 17th, 2013 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist)
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CIT LogoOnce the NIT field and the NCAA Tournament field are set, there are still two postseason tournaments that are going to be left to set. Our CIT Bracketology is interesting as always, as the teams from the non-BCS conferences are going to fight it out in this, the fifth annual CollegeInsider.com Tournament! Don’t miss the our 2013 CIT Bracketology, which will be updated every night from now through Selection Sunday!

Ever wonder how the CIT works? Teams can turn down bids to this tournament, as it is a significantly lesser tournament, and it doesn’t have a tremendous prize at the end like a trip to the Final Four or Madison Square Garden as the NCAA Tournament and the CIT have. The CIT matches up teams from all over the course from the smaller conferences against each other in the old NIT style, basically trying to keep matchups relatively regional. The matchups aren’t set until the previous round of games is complete, and no one is formally “ranked.” There are 32 teams in this field, each of which had to finish above .500 for the season, and the selection process has to be incredibly tough. There are always a ton of moving parts to consider for the College Insider Tournament Bracketology, but we’re here to sort it all out, as we go conference by conference to pick the 32 teams that will be a part of this tournament!

Don’t see your favorite team listed here in the CIT? Check out our NIT Bracketology or our CBI Bracketology instead. Also note that teams that are ineligible for the postseason are not included.

DSI Sports Book

Teams that have already accepted bids to the CIT in bold.

America EastHartford Hawks, Boston Terriers
We’re starting to believe that America East is now finished in the CIT. We now know that Vermont is going to be playing in the CBI, which is going to leave just these two here in the CIT. Hartford really was a surprising entry, knowing that there were so many other teams, even out of America East, which would have been deserving of bids here to the postseason.

Atlantic 10Richmond Spiders
We have confidence that there will be at least one team out of the A-10 that makes it to the CIT, but we aren’t sure whether it will be Richmond that decides to come and play in this tourney or not. The Spiders went out in the A-10 tourney in terrible fashion, getting bounced out after getting hit with three technical fouls in the final five seconds of the game.

Atlantic Sun
The Atlantic Sun has sort of cleared itself out at this point. Florida Gulf Coast is dancing. Mercer is going to the NIT. No one else had a winning record. This is fairly cut and dry at this point.

Big SkyNorth Dakota Fighting Sioux, Weber State Wildcats
It makes more sense for Weber State to be in the CBI than the CIT, but we aren’t sure that the field of 16 is going to have room for the Wildcats. There’s no way that the CIT would turn down a chance to bring back a Weber State team that won 26 games and fell just short of going to the NCAA Tournament. The Fighting Sioux only finished right at .500 this year, but they have still been linked to the possibility of hosting a game here in the CIT. We’ll find out Sunday whether they get the nod or not.


Big SouthGardner Webb Bulldogs
Gardner Webb has already accepted its bid into the CIT after posting a solid year in the crazy Big South, the conference that gave us Liberty as a 15-20 team that made the NCAA Tournament. High Point really seems to want to play in this tournament, but we aren’t so sure that it is going to happen that way. The Panthers lost their leading scorer, John Brown to a foot injury, and the fact that he can’t play might ultimately be a harm to them. This is a CIT bubble team if there ever were such a thing.

Big WestUC Irvine Anteaters
The Anteaters made it all the way to the Big West Final before losing to Hawaii. We really were wondering whether any of these teams from this conference were going to accept bids to the second season or not outside of Pacific, the NCAA Tournament reps, but alas, here comes UCI in what might be the first of many teams accepting bids to this tournament.

There were two surprising announcements that were made over the weekend. George Mason was going to be accepting a bid into the CBI or the CIT to host a game (likely the CBI), while Delaware, a team that seemed interested in the CBI all along, has announced that it won’t be accepting a postseason bid. That probably leaves the CAA without a team in the CIT.

Conference USAEast Carolina Pirates, Tulane Green Wave
Conference USA decided to partake in the CIT after all. East Carolina and Tulane both accepted bids to the CIT on Friday. We’re a bit surprised to not hear anything about Houston or UTEP, and we have a feeling that both teams are going to be left out when push comes to shove. Tulsa is a team that we know is likely headed to the CBI.

Great West ConferenceChicago State Cougars
Chicago State finished the regular season as the lowest rated team in the Great West. They had won just eight games through March 8th, four of which came against non-Division I schools. However, the Cougars knocked off Houston Baptist on the final day of the regular season and turned around and won the Great West Tournament. They’ll certainly be one and done in the CIT, but they have the league’s automatic bid to this tournament.

Horizon LeagueWisconsin Green Bay Phoenix, Youngstown State Penguins, Illinois Chicago Flames, Detroit Titans
Right now, it seems pretty cut and dry what’s going to happen here in the Horizon League. Green Bay, Ilinois Chicago and Youngstown State have all accepted bids to the CIT, and Wright State and Detroit might be stuck doing the same either here or in the CBI. The difference is that the latter two are at least waiting to see if they get the call from the NIT Selection Committee come Sunday. Wright State has been linked to the CBI. Detroit really hasn’t had much in the way of links anywhere at this point, so we’re going to assume that it will be in the CIT.

Ivy League
We had projected Princeton as a CIT team for quite some time, but that has gone by the boards. The Tigers have declared that they won’t be playing in the postseason this year, shutting the Ivy League totally out of the second season, outside of Harvard in the NCAA Tournament.

Metro AtlanticCanisius Golden Griffins, Fairfield Stags, Rider Broncs, Loyola Maryland Greyhounds
Six teams finished above .500 this year in the Metro Atlantic, and all six are going to be playing in the postseason. All of the teams in the MAAC now know what their postseason destinations are going to be. Iona won the league title and will be dancing for the second straight season, while Niagara will drop into the NIT as the regular season champs. The others have all already accepted bids to the CIT, which will leave the CBI looking for other teams in the Northeast to put in its tournament.

MACKent State Golden Flashes
The Golden Flashes gave Akron a run in the MAC Semifinals, but it wasn’t enough. They’re on the line now in the CIT after accepting a bid on Saturday to the tourney. Western Michigan is a different story. The Broncos could elect to come here, but it is sounding more and more like Kent State will be the only MAC team playing in the lower tournaments. Western Michigan is a possibility, and Ohio is a team that we have lined up in the CBI right now. Based upon all of what we’re reading though, the MAC is only a one-bid league to the CIT.

We feel bad about blowing the MEAC up in the postseason, but after the first two rounds of tournament play, it’s tough to justify anything right now. Norfolk State has officially dropped into the NIT, while UNC Central was knocked off by North Carolina A&T. The Eagles are hoping to get the phone call on Sunday, but we doubt that the phone is ever actually going to ring.

Missouri ValleyEvansville Purple Aces, Bradley Braves
The Missouri Valley is going to be interesting to break down over the course of the last day of the regular season. It really seems as though Illinois State, Northern Iowa, Indiana State, Bradley, and Evansville should all find postseason homes to go with Wichita State and Creighton in the NCAA Tournament. Northern Iowa is a projected CBI team, while Bradley has accepted a bid here to the CIT already. Evansville is holding out hope for the NIT but probably won’t get the call. And what about Illinois State? We just haven’t heard much from the Redbirds at this point. They could be in the CBI, or they could just be left home all together in a move that would be shocking.

Mountain West
We’re leaving Wyoming in our CBI field, though at 19-13 with all 13 losses (including the conference tournament) coming in conference play, we’re not all that sure that the Cowboys truly deserve that distinction either. Air Force will make the NIT cut, and both Fresno State and Nevada are terrible and won’t finish anywhere near .500.

NortheastWagner Seahawks
First we had them out. Now, with the news that both are hearing from the CIT, we are going to put both Wagner and Bryant back in the the postseason. These teams both had great years, and they are worthy of being here in the postseason, but there are a lot of teams that could say the same. Still, these Northeast based teams have a good history of being in the CIT and the CBI, and we think that this is another perfect example of two teams that might not be quite as deserving getting in over teams that are more deserving. Wagner is the CIT team on the list right now. Bryant has reportedly accepted a bid to the CBI.

Ohio ValleyTennessee State Tigers, Southeast Missouri State Redhawks
The Ohio Valley is going to be left determining largely how the rest of the CBI and CIT are going to fall into place. If you listen to reports, Murray State and Eastern Kentucky are both headed to the CBI. We already know that Tennessee State, a team that won just a ton of home games this year, has accepted a bid to the CIT. SEMO wasn’t great this year at 17-16, but it has been linked to the CIT as well. If the Redhawks get in, it would be a huge shock, knowing that a more deserving team is likely going to be sent home instead.

Patriot LeagueLehigh Mountain Hawks
Lehigh and Lafayette are going to be tough sells if they are left out of the postseason all together. The Mountain Hawks won a ton of games this year, while the Leopards made it all the way to the Patriot League final. We can’t justify both playing in the postseason yet, but if these projected ACC/SEC/Big Ten teams we have in the CBI don’t end up coming, Lafayette will find its way into the postseason.

SouthernElon Phoenix
Elon has officially taken a spot in the CBI after a good season in the SoCon. It’ll be a bit of a disappointing postseason tournament bid, but playing in the second season is good enough for these guys this year. Charleston is probably going to be in the CBI when push comes to shove, and it makes sense to leave a SoCon team in the other postseason tourney. The Phoenix fit the bill if they’re willing to play.

When Northwestern State won the Southland Tournament on Saturday, that really ended any chance of the Southland having any teams in the CBI or the CIT. Stephen F. Austin will drop into the NIT. Northwestern State will dance.

The SWAC is a nightmare this year. Texas Southern and Arkansas Pine Bluff are ineligible, and Southern is dancing. The next best team? 15-19 Prairie View A&M. At least the Panthers made it to the SWAC Final… but then again, someone had to do it along with Southern.

Summit LeagueOral Roberts Golden Eagles, Oakland Golden Grizzlies
And here’s where there are some issues for the Summit League followers. Oral Roberts and Oakland clearly weren’t as good as North Dakota State and Western Illinois were this year. The Bison really have been quiet in terms of bids to these secondary tournaments, and they could find themselves sitting on the sidelines as a result. Oakland has already accepted a bid to the CIT, and Oral Roberts is expected to be right behind. With Western Illinois rumored to be going to the CBI, there has to be a place for NDSU… we just don’t know where that spot is if it isn’t the NIT.

Sun BeltFlorida International Golden Panthers
With Utah State bowing out of the CIT and the CBI, we’re going to slot Florida International into the field. We just don’t see a way that the team that beat Middle Tennessee State, as good of a win as most of these have on their resume at this level, would be left out.

West CoastSanta Clara Broncos
The Broncos have been rumored to send Santa Clara to the CIT, and it makes a heck of a lot of sense. This is a team that has a good history of playing in these third-tier tourneys, and the CIT would love to have another West Coast team to mix in with some of the teams from the WAC that are inevitably going to be here. The problem is that there aren’t many of those West Coast teams, and the travel expenses might start to get out of control. The Broncos should still be okay to be in the CIT, but they might reconsider come Sunday if they want to be play in this tournament or not.

WACDenver Pioneers
Both Denver and Utah State crashed out of the WAC Tournament far too early, and they are both going to pay the price as a result. Both could have put together NIT resumes, but after these bad losses this is the best that either would do. Last year, Denver turned down a bid to the CIT and the CBI. This year, we know that it is Utah State is that turning down the bid.

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Posted in NCAA Basketball - Last Updated on Sunday, March 17th, 2013 @ 11:44 am (EST)
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