TCU men's basketball coach Jamie Dixon reflects on the significance of the Frogs' run to the semifinals of the Big 12 tournament and impressing postseason tournament berth (likely NIT). Both were much-needed in efforts to elevate the program. Video by Jimmy Burch jburch@star-telegram.com
TCU men's basketball coach Jamie Dixon reflects on the significance of the Frogs' run to the semifinals of the Big 12 tournament and impressing postseason tournament berth (likely NIT). Both were much-needed in efforts to elevate the program. Video by Jimmy Burch jburch@star-telegram.com

TCU

NIT field projection shows possible TCU-UTA contest

March 12, 2017 12:32 PM

UPDATED March 12, 2017 02:41 PM

The science of bracketology involves lots of guesswork in regard to placing participants in March Madness, let alone trying to slot the 32 teams that will compete in the NIT after the NCAA Tournament fills its 68-team bracket.

Potential matchups and brackets change from game-to-game, even hour-to-hour, as results are updated from conference tournament championship games that determine automatic qualifiers for the NCAA tournament.

Against that disclaimer, the latest Selection Sunday speculation from nycbuckets.com, a website that projects the NIT’s twists and turns, shows both TCU and UT Arlington project to reveive top-4 seeds for the event. Even more compelling: If each team wins two games, the site’s projected bracket would feature a winner-take-all battle between the Tarrant County schools to see which team advances to the NIT semifinals in New York. Based on seeding, the contest would be played in Fort Worth.

As of this morning, TCU was projected as a No. 2 seed with a first-round matchup against seventh-seeded Belmont. UTA is projected as a No. 4 seed with a first-round matchup Colorado State, a fifth seed. Typically, top-4 seeds get home games in the NIT. But UTA spokesman Richard Kilewein said Sunday that College Park Arena is not available because of a previous commitment and the earliest UTA could host a game would be the quarterfinals.

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TCU, as a No. 2 seed, would be in position to host multiple home games if it keeps winning in the NIT.

Understand that tournament results between now and the time the 32-team field is finalized for tonight’s NIT bracket reveal show (7:30 p.m., ESPNU) could alter this afternoon’s projections considerably. But the early signs suggest the Horned Frogs (19-15) and Mavericks (25-8) would both receive top-4 seeds in the NIT.

Jimmy Burch: 817-390-7760, @Jimmy_Burch