As I did last year, I tried to come up with what my projection would be for the NCAA field if it was 96 teams instead of 68. One assumption I make is that they will take no losing teams. Last year this was a strong assumption, but this year it probably would not have made a difference. I will assume that all of the at-large NIT teams would have made it, plus Missouri St. Since there were 13 automatic bids for the NIT that still leaves eight additional spots to come up with. Wisconsin-Milwaukee was an automatic bid and a five-seed, while Harvard was an at-large and a six-seed. However, making Milwaukee a five-seed meant that they were playing Northwestern which means a lot less travel. I will thus not assume that they would have been selected (see below).
My final eight in order of selection:
Marshall: should be in
Maryland: should be in
Southern Miss: should be in
Minnesota: overall ok record but finished the year 1-9
College of Charleston: good RPI, good record and won regular season conference title
Hofstra: worse RPI than CAA-mate Drexel, but finished higher in conference
Wisconsin-Milwaukee: a UAB-type pick, regular season champion from a highly-rated conference (at least at the 96-team level). The high NIT seed is indicative of strong assessments of this team.
Baylor: Not a good record but from a big-time conference
Last 4 out: Central Florida, Drexel, Iona and Mississippi St.
Next 4 out: Valparaiso, JMU, Kent St. and Tulsa