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Which Big Ten Teams Can Make The 2016 NIT?

There are two or three teams that will end up making the NIT this season from the Big Ten, and one team is seriously on the bubble.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The NIT Selection Show will happen soon after the the NCAA tournament field is announced and there are about three teams that could be playing in the NIT from the Big Ten this season. Those teams include the Ohio State Buckeyes, the Michigan Wolverines, and the Northwestern Wildcats.

Basically, the Buckeyes are a lock to be in the NIT after falling quite early in the Big Ten tournament. The Buckeyes needed to make some noise during the conference tournament to try and make the NCAA tournament, but they failed to answer the call, which is why they are going to be one of the top seeds in the NIT with a 20-13 record.

Ohio State is not really on the NIT bubble, and neither is Michigan. The interesting part about Michigan is that they are also on the NCAA tournament bubble, so if they do not make the tourney, then they will become a top seed in the NIT as well. ESPN's Joe Lunardi has the Wolverines out of the tournament as of right now, even though they defeated the Indiana Hoosiers and made it to the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament. If the Wolverines do not make the tourney, then both the Wolverines and the Buckeyes will likely be high seeds in the NIT.

Both of these teams are really not on the NIT bubble because they have done enough to earn a NIT bid, but there is one Big Ten team that is on the NIT bubble and that team is Northwestern.

Can Northwestern Make The NIT?

The Wildcats had high expectations coming into this season because they had a lot of talent and leadership on their squad, but the team could not compete with some of the elite competition in the Big Ten. They finished 20-12 on the year and 8-10 in conference play. There biggest win on the season came against the Wisconsin Badgers at home, and they did not beat any other noteworthy teams this season. Every time they played against elite competition in conference play, they could not answer the call, which is why the Wildcats might not even make the NIT.

As of right now, bracketmatrix.com projects the Wildcats to not make the NIT. A win over the Wolverines in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament would have really helped Northwestern's chances to make the NIT, but now it might be too far out of reach. Northwestern will probably play in the postseason tournament if they want to, but it will not be the NIT.

Overall

Northwestern is the only Big Ten team that is on the NIT bubble, and their bubble might have bursted when they lost to the Wolverines in the first round of the NCAA tournament. It would be pretty surprising if the Wildcats ended up stealing an NIT bid because they have not really done much this season to earn a bid. Ohio State is certainly NIT bound and if the Wolverines do not make the NCAA tournament, they will be NIT bound as well.