Count me in the camp that says making NCAA tournament is better than anything that can in the NIT tournament. You can also count me in the camp that say the NIT is still a very meaningful tournament and can lead to bigger things in the future. In 2006 the NIT had their selection process changed. Any school that won their regular season conference championship, but failed to make the NCAA field would get an automatic bid into the NIT. This raised the quality of the field, and reduced the number of power conference teams that finished closer to the bottom of their conference standings
Clemson and Florida have made it to the semi-finals of this year’s NIT in New York City and are getting ready for their games with SMU and Minnesota on Tuesday. Hey the Tiger and Seminole freshman and sophomores are getting a NYC preview before the ACC hits New York for their conference basketball tournament in 2016.
What about the NIT though? Is there really pattern of future success based on a good NIT run?
In the last 5 years, these were teams that made it New York.
|2011||Wichita St||Alabama||Colorado||Wash St|
|2009||Penn State||Baylor||Notre Dame||San Diego St|
Every winner of the NIT made the NCAA tournament within 4 years, and 14 of the 20 Semi-Finalists made the NCAAs within 4 years. It’s even more impressive when you look at the last 3 winners. Wichita St. made the 2012 Final 4 and was a number 1 seed this year. Stanford and Baylor made it to this years Sweet 16.
For a Clemson team without a senior, and a Florida State team where 4 of their top 6 scorers should be back, this run in the NIT could lead to future success. So don’t quite discount the results of the NIT. Past history says otherwise.