Alabama came close, but fell short of making it back to the NCAA Tournament. Our guys were the second team out of the field (UNCG, Bama, TCU and Indiana are the first four out). This insures Alabama a 1 seed in the NIT, but I'd be lying if I said I'm not disappointed. The goal every year is to make the NCAA Tournament, and to fall short, particularly when this team had so many opportunities to lock up a bid down the stretch, is very disappointing.
Once again, some of the committee decisions didn't make much sense on the surface. Alabama had a top 20 strength of schedule (SOS: 17), but St. John's (SOS: 69) and Arizona State (SOS: 70), with the same number of Q1/2 wins, and a lower NET ranking, get in ahead of Alabama. Arizona State had two quad 4 losses and get into the field. Doesn't make much sense to me. I will give the committee props for giving Belmont, a strong mid-major that lost in their conference tournament, a chance to play in the tournament. That has been an area where they have failed in recent years. Happy for Rick Byrd and the Belmont Bruins.
The NIT selection show will air at 7:30 P.M. CT. I'll update this post with the NIT first round opponent and bracket breakdown. I'm disappointed, but will hope our guys can pull together and go out on a high note.
Update: The NIT bracket has been released. Alabama will host Norfolk State from the MEAC on Wednesday (March 20). The NIT selection committee obviously has a sense of humor because Alabama could play Dayton, coached by former Alabama coach Anthony Grant, in the second round. Dayton will travel to Colorado in their first round game. The teams on the bottom of the bracket are Xavier/Toledo and Texas/South Dakota State so there will be challenges awaiting Alabama in this tournament. I'll start working on a game preview for the Norfolk State game tonight. I hope you guys will continue to read despite the team falling short of the NCAA Tournament.
Click for the complete NIT bracket.