Slow week, so here's a debate topic: NCAA vs NIT

Had this conversation with a Horned Frog 4 years ago:

What’s the most equitable (IN A NORMAL YEAR)?

NCAA one-and-done vs NIT Champion
NCAA round-of-32 vs. NIT Champion
NCAA sweet 16 vs. NIT Champ
Something else?

Talkst amongst youselves (sic)…

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I’d say somewhere between round-of-32 and Sweet 16…with a lean more towards round-of-32. On average, I think all Sweet 16 teams could/should/would easily beat the NIT champ.

Back in the day (probably around 30 years ago), I would easily put the NIT champ up against the NCAA champ. The two tournaments were pretty much equals.

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70 years ago the NIT and NCAA may have been about equal. Marquette was the last team to turn down an NCAA bid for an NIT Bid, and that was in the early 70’s.

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ncaa in all scenarios

making the ncaa in itself is a huge prize… we’re amking it regualry now, but people forget how hard it is to get here, when your outside the bubble


From a financial standpoint the NCAA all day long. I just read article last week that NCAA will pay full pay-outs to all participating teams despite knowing there will be 20-25% capacity for gate receipts. This is huge for sm schools and even UH if they were to get at least 2-3 W’s, as ea Win brings more $$ .

Edit: NCAA office-- I guess when the $$$ are bulging out the desk drawers it’s got to go somewhere. :grin::grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

Probably round of 32. One-and-done teams are mostly nobodies from tiny conferences that frankly have no business competing for a national championship. NIT winners are usually bubble teams that missed the tournament on a judgement call. Most years, the NIT winner would probably be among the better teams bounced in the round of 32.


That’s a tough call. Oddly, I almost always find time to watch the NIT final four. Not sure why.

Sure the NIT is the second best tourney but winning a tournament shows tenacity. Winning a tourney late in the year shows great coaching.

I’d say NIT Championship = 32 cut

But I wouldn’t trade the opportunity of the Dance for anything.

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The more I think about it, a NCAA appearance may be worth more than NIT champ. Depends on the program. If you are on a long streak of NCAA appearances (like a UNC/Duke) then just making it is better than NIT championship. Also a school who has never made it or hasn’t in a very long time would be better to take that L in the NCAA. On the flip side, the argument could be made that a program like UT winning it last time was better than getting bounced in the first round again. Finish the season on a positive note with more tv exposure and less embarrassment.

What do you guys think about SMU if they had won the title game in 2014? Would that have been better than getting upset in the NCAA tournament in 2015 or 2017?

I’m thinking:

Sweet 16 = NIT Champ

But I agree that there are many perspectives (didn’t even think about the $$$ impact, I was strictly thinking achievement). I think every NIT Champ in the last 20 years had a plausible chance to get to the Sweet 16, not the Elite 8.


smu is a case in point, literally no one talks about them finishing #2 in the nit… they talk more about their 2 first round knockouts…if anything, smu fans used their nit run as a reason why their snub was wrong and should have been in the ncaa instead…

if you asked sampson or anyone, would you want houston in its 4th (5th*) straight tournament next season with a guaranteed 1st round loss, or the NIT champion… we are taking the ncaa bids without hesitation
numerous teams have refused nit bids… a recent example is lsu with ben simmons
cincy was label a powerhouse by most analysts with cronin, and that was without advancement, simply for always making the tournament

NIT champion is a GREAT thing, but the ncaa all rounds is greater

I don’t know about numerous, usually very rare. Quick research lists 6 schools since 1975, maybe there are more. LSU was because Simmons and a couple others weren’t going to play in the NIT. Now this year may have a few because of the blue bloods who are in danger of not getting into the tournament and with Covid issues an easier excuse not to go. It is normally a bad look for a program to decline if players want to play.

With SMU, I guarantee they would brag about it if they won. TCU still brags about their championship. That is why I say you have to win it all and it is still only about the same as an NCAA appearance for some programs. We have a streak going now so if we have a bad season next year or year after, would much rather a 1st round loss than NIT championship.

NIT lol is this serious?

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Does anyone remember the NIT Champ? Question answered, plus the lower money/exposure. That said, in addition to our 5 Final Four NCAA appearances, we played for the NIT Championship when it was still relevant.

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Why should the NIT champ get into the NCAA tournament at any time? They were in the NIT for a reason, they didn’t get invited into the NCAA tournament. The only champion I would invite from the NIT would be one if they came from a one bid league. Why should some P5 school get another bite at the apple?.

However, I do seem to remember that one school won both the NIT and NCAA in a year, but I’m too lazy to look it up…

The 1950 CCNY Beavers won both

I don’t get this thread at all. The NIT hasn’t been relevant in more than 30 years and I couldn’t tell you who has won a NIT championship in that time.
Woopee. We’re No. 69.
You play to get to the Big Dance.
I would rather play well enough every year and get beat in the first round of the NCAA Tournament 10 straight years than not quality for the Big Dance and win the NIT 10 straight years.
And even if you advance in the NIT and play a few extra games, it’s not like going to a bowl in football and getting extra weeks of practice in.


I think the point was to discuss where in the NCAA tournament “would” the NIT champ equate…if we lived in a magical land where that type of crossover could occur.

I think the NIT champ would equate to a round-of-32 team…but not quite Sweet 16 worthy.

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We have taken several teams to the NIT over the years and frankly I think it was seen as a big come down from going to the real deal.
The NIT means nothing and has not for many years…to me it is simply a way to give away a meaningless trophy…
I am just glad we are going to the real Dance…

The NIT is now the second best tourney then comes the CBI or CIT if they are even still there. But if you are an up and coming program, the NIT is nice in an effort to continue to move up and show progress…we did.

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The last NIT Tourney I remember is 77 Finals. Birdsong n Coogs couldn’t quite pull it out against Bonnie’s of St Bonaventure. :upside_down_face: