Barring a surprise run through the ACC tournament, it’s unlikely the Virginia Tech men’s basketball team will get a bid to the NCAA tournament this year. But if the Hokies don’t receive an invitation to the National Invitational Tournament for the fifth straight year, Athletic Director Jim Weaver said Wednesday the team would not participate in any other lower-tier postseason tournament.
The College Basketball Invitational (CBI) was created in 2008 and the CollegeInsider.com tournament (CIT) began a year later as alternatives to the NIT.
“We’ll play in the NIT but we’re not participating in those,” Weaver said.
The 24-team CIT field is generally reserved for mid-majors that did not make the NCAA or NIT fields, but BCS programs like Virginia and Cincinnati (2008), Stanford and St. John’s (2009), Oregon State (2010) and Oregon (2011) have all participated in the CBI in previous seasons.
The CBI, however, requires teams to pay to host home games until the finals of the tournament, when the champion is determined by a best-of-three series.
As Hokies fans are well aware of by now, the 32-team postseason NIT bracket is announced on Selection Sunday after the NCAA tournament field is selected. There is no limit on the number of teams that can qualify from the same conference and no specific parameters on what a team’s record must be (i.e. above .500.).
But the NIT selection committee guarantees a berth to any regular season conference champion not selected for the NCAA tournament and strives to “select the best available teams to fill the NIT field,” according to the tournament’s official Web site.
The Hokies currently have a 14-11 record with six regular season games remaining, starting with Thursday night’s road affair at No. 20 Florida State. Virginia Tech has won two of its past three games after losing seven of eight contests to begin 2012.
“All of Seth Greenberg’s teams play very hard and I think if we continue to play that way through the end of this year, I’m hopeful that we’ll end up with a winning record and possibly get to postseason play in the NIT,” Weaver said.