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Why don’t the winners of the NIT play the winners of the NCAA?

Brian Mull

The National Collegiate Athletic Association owns the NCAA Tournament and the NIT Tournament, and each tournament has its own selection committee.

The NCAA Tournament committee selects the 37 at-large teams it feels have the best resume and deserve to join the 31 automatic qualifiers (typically conference tournament champions) and form the 68-team field. The NIT committee selects all remaining teams and any teams who won their regular season conference championship but were not selected for the NCAA Tournament field. In essence, the top at-large NIT team would have a weaker resume than the team that receives the last at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Therefore, a game between the NCAA and NIT champions would prove little, and would be rather anticlimactic for the team that just won the national championship game and clipped the nets.

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2 Responses to “ Why don’t the winners of the NIT play the winners of the NCAA?”

  1. On April 15, 2011 at 7:51 am Henry Westreich wrote:

    At one time the NIT was the more prestigious tournament,and teams could and would play in both. In 1951 the CCNY became the first and only team to win both tournaments.Over the years The NCAA tournament added more teams and the NIT became weaker.

  2. On April 15, 2011 at 9:53 am Wayne wrote:

    One reason is that the NIT is commonly know as the “Nothing Invitational Tournament”. Way back when, way before my time, the NIT was an important tournament but it’s probably been 50 or more years since the NIT had any claim to being an important tournament. For years and years it’s been a “consolation” tournament for those teams that failed to garner an invitation to the NCAA tournament. Back when there were only 64 teams invited to the NCAA tournament, the NIT champions were able to claim, “We’re #65″.

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