Barring an epic run through the Big Ten Tournament, Iowa’s men’s basketball program is destined for either the National Invitation Tournament or College Basketball Invitational. Iowa Coach Fran McCaffery said Friday he would accept a bid to either postseason event.
Looking at the numbers of last year’s NIT, Iowa (16-15, 8-10 Big Ten, RPI 132) has an outside chance but needs to win a few games at the Big Ten Tournament. Of last year’s 32 NIT contestants, 14 received automatic bids by winning their conference’s regular-season title.
There were 18 at-large teams that qualified for the NIT. Here were their resumes (overall record, conference record, RPI) entering the 2011 postseason:
Of the 18 at-large teams, 11 came from the six power conferences (Big Ten, Big 12, Big East, SEC, ACC, Pac-12). The average RPI was 74. All of the at-large schools (except Harvard) were seeded fifth or higher. Of the 11 power-conference schools, only two (Ole Miss, Nebraska) didn’t host first-round games.
In the CBI, only one school currently competing in a power conference (Oregon) qualified. Oregon (16-17) was the only school with a losing record. Two mid-major programs — Evansville (15-15) and Miami of Ohio (16-16) — did not have a winning record.
Here’s how the schools stacked up entering their first-round CBI matchups with their overall record and RPI:
The first-round games were sparsely attended, but the gate increased with each round. Creighton’s grew from 3,086 to 4,832 to 6,392 to 12,381. Creighton and Oregon hosted each round of games until they competed in a best-of-three championship series. Creighton played host to the first game, and Oregon played host to the final two.
Here are this year’s NIT and CBI brackets:
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