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

Jess22, if only Juice Williams would have passed the ball to Birdsong on the wing instead of putting up a jumper that missed sealing the Bonnies win over the Coogs in '77.
I would take my chances with the ball in Birdsong’s hands.


I still remember listening to the radio broadcast of that game. I was in 6th grade. Juice from 30.

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I just remember it was back n forth the whole game. But yea how does OB not have the ball in his hand in waning secs. If there was a statue made of a Basketball player shooting a jumper, it should be of Birdsong! #SilkySmooth

Edit: there was another Bird that had decent jump shot who Coogs played in 1st rd of that Tourney.

And George Walker did a great job of defending Larry Bird on that last-second shot. A rare miss in clutch situation from Larry Bird.
To me the NIT meant something then as the NCAA field wasn’t as large as it is now.
As PBRCoog mentioned, Marquette turned down the NCAA Tournament in the 1970s for the NIT because they didn’t like the regional they were placed in. Back then it was by geopraphy.
UCLA was great back then but the road was easier for the Bruins because other than Long Beach State there wasn’t much competition in West Regional so UCLA had a cakewalk making it to the Final Four.
South Carolina had it the opposite and that’s why they left the ACC. A couple of times in early 1970s South Carolina may have beaten UCLA in the NCAAs but the Gamecocks couldn’t qualify. The ACC was the only conference with a tournament and only the tournament winner made it to the Big Dance. Only 1 team in each conference went and the few at-large bids went to Independents like UH.


Larry Bird’s last shot at the Hof rolled in an around the basket and then popped out to the liking of our fanbase.
Many years later I am still wondering how in the heck the kid from BYU hit that last second shot to beat us…I mean it seemed like it bounced to the roof and then fell in lol…
Otis Birdsong was a special player at UH, our best natural scorer ever although Rob Gray was close. Birdsong was smooth as silk and such a great guy off the court…

Vote for Grimes!!!

I was told that my undergrad, Southern Illinois, passed on an NCAA bid to take part in and ultimately win the NIT in 1967.

SIU won it with Walt Frazier on the team. I was told that in the context that this SIU old timer believed SIU was the best team in the country that year. I have no idea if that’s true as I wasn’t born yet. (I’d add that I have my doubts with UCLA and UH in the NCAA, but just repeating one person’s opinion).

Here’s Clyde and the guys remaining from that team:

NIT champs could easily hang with even Elite 8 teams and win in many instances. There are several eventual NIT teams (not just the eventual champion) that have already scored wins against said types this year (Minnesota over Michigan and Ohio State, Indiana over Iowa - twice, Stanford over Alabama, St. John’s over Villanova for example). You could also argue 10 or so of the 16-18 lowest-seeded teams in the NCAAs wouldn’t even get a bid to the NIT if the AQ was taken out of the equation. So, while it’s not the preferred postseason destination for squads, the NIT is certainly not a weak field nor is it the big drop-off many people think it is. Parity exists now more than ever in college basketball, even making participants in tournaments below the NIT capable of beating NCAA tourney squads.

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I’d be less embarrassed by an NIT Champ banner hanging in FC than a NCAA Appearance banner.

I only wish UH had the 1977 NIT championship banner hanging in the FC. We lost in the Finals to St. Bonaventure, which still ranks among my list of major UH disappointing sports outcomes. Back then, the NIT had more national credibility.

At this point in our program, a championship banner should be well received. Heaven knows we’ve experienced our share of Tournament Final losses and Final Fours.

That said, the NIT has more value in the pre-season than post season.

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I thought that we used to have the NIT Championship banner at the Hof, no? In the 70’s, the NIT was indeed bigger than the Dance.

NIT banner, but for runner-up.

Not in the 70s. Maybe yes to 50s n early 60s, but I can assure you CGVL n Birdsong n Co preferred to be at the NCAA’s in 1977.

update on this conversation

atleast 8 teams declined the NIT this year…

multiple teams going through covid pauses are refusing to give up their bid in the ncaa even if they have to play short handed