Effective today, Jan 10th, DRatings provides NCAA and NIT projections. Obviously, much will change but it’s an indicator nonetheless.

NCAA: Gonzaga #6 seed

NIT: St. Mary’s #2 seed
USF #4 seed

Note: Gaels listed amongst group of First Four out (NCAA).

These next two games with both the Zags and Gaels at home will be telling. A split is necessary IMO, but a sweep will have each of us doing cartwheels. In my case, at age 57, 911 will have to be called if I attempt such:)


DRatings NCAA/NIT projection update as of today, 02/21/24:


Gonzaga…#6 seed
St. Mary’s…#7 seed


USF…#3 seed (Home Game)


I am rather surprised to see GU comfortably in when other projections see them anywhere from a 10-12 seed, and higher than SMC, despite Gaels beating Zags in Spokane, unbeaten in conference play, plus last night’s win over Dons included in this projection. IMO, GU is being seeded based on reputation and overvalued, and Gaels far undervalued and better than a #7 seed.

USF, barring a major collapse, looks NIT bound. I believe Broncos need to run the table with these remaining 4 conference games to enter the NIT conversation. I think 3 of 4, assuming the one loss is in Spokane, requires SCU to upset SMC in conference semis to re-enter the conversation. Of course, if Broncos are #4 seed, we must first dispose of the #5 seed, presumably USD.

SMC probably does deserve to be a higher seed but I don’t see a tremendous difference between the two squads.

In terms of seeds…I recognize NET is just one metric and consideration used by the selection committee but SMC current NET rank of #15 would translate to a #4 seed and GU’s #22 NT rank translates to #6 seed. That said, seems like WCC and other mid-major routinely get seeded a line or two or three below what their rankings would indicate.

And as much as I respect what SMC is doing, and their stellar D and rebounding I don’t truly see them as the 15th best team in the country. Just not enough overall talent and athleticism IMO and more or less zero guard depth and bench production from guards. At some point SMC will run in to a team that can match (or best) their rebounding and out-athlete them at several positions and stifle their offense to the point that their defense isn’t enough to compensate. USF’s guards demonstrated it last night, slowing and limiting both Marciulionis and Mahaney with tight D and not giving them space to operate. Saxen and Ducas were able to pick up the slack and saved the day…barely.


Just goes to show how good of a coach Bennett really is…they had a rough start to the season, but made the right adjustments (both in terms of personnel and scheme) to maximize their strengths and minimize their weaknesses


NIT…appears at least 3 teams, St. Johns, Oklahoma and Pittsburgh turned down NIT invites. There may be a couple of others I haven’t heard. More salt in the wound that we couldn’t make it.

USF is in, unseeded, playing #2 Cincinnati.
Bediako’s Seton Hall was a NCAA bubble team, didn’t make it and is instead a #1 seed in the NIT. Disappointed for Jaden, he an his team had a solid season, would have been cool for him to experience the NCAA.
Stewart’s LSU squad snuck in with a 17-15 record, not sure if Stewart has recovered from whatever injury he suffered.
With no more autobids to the NIT for teams that win their conference but fail to win their tourney, the effect is seen in the mix of teams. By my count, just a handful of non-mid-major or higher. Indiana St. (should have been in tourney), Appalachian St., Cornell, UC Irvin…that’s about it. Princeton is also in as a #2 seed but I’d consider the Ivy a mid-major.
Only teams that we played that made it are Ohio St. and of course USF.