A lot of jokes were made about Maryland missing the 2011 NIT, but Gary Williams accurately pointed out in this interview with Kelli Johnson that the NIT isn’t the goal. Then he just about guaranteed that the Terps will be in the actual tournament next season.

“The big thing is, we’re here to be in the NCAA tournament. We’re not here to make the NIT. So just like Connecticut, UCLA, Carolina last year, who weren’t in the NCAA tournament, we’ll be back in it next year. We’ll work hard to get there. There’s some benefits to playing [in the NIT], but at the same time, it gives us a chance to rest earlier. We have Spring Break next week. And so by the time the players come back from Spring Break, they’ll be rested and ready to go with the offseason workout program.”