Over the course of my life, Kentucky Basketball has had to participate in the NIT two times. So forgive me for perhaps not being the best person to write this article. But I feel as though, depending on your team, there is a unwritten code of conduct for how to act when you find your team is playing in the Leftovers Bracket.
If you are a mid major lover this is your time to shine. Cheer your team on hard. Be loud. Be proud. An NIT Championship is a high honor for your program and leave it all on the line in pursuit of it.
If you are a bigger school that is typically in the NCAA Tournament but has never really had a run, there is no shame in trying hard in the NIT. Use it as an opportunity to prepare for next season. It’s never too early to develop towards getting back in the Big Dance next year.
Now, if you are a fan of a school that is always in the NCAA Tournament, and has even won the National Championship on more that one occasion, but you find yourself in the NIT, pray for death. The best option here is a quick exit. Much like in 2013 when Robert Morris clipped the Cats in the First Round. You can win a game or two to make it look like you tried, but do not win that damn tournament. That is the equivalent of winning a spelling contest among preschoolers. There is no pride in hanging an NIT banner beside a NCAA banner.
For the love of God Louisville you especially don’t need to win the NIT. You don’t want to be the first team to vacate a National Championship AND an NIT Championship. I’m with you here guys. Bow out early and save yourselves.Enjoy the tournaments everybody and don’t forget to join us on the ESPN Tournament Challenge App! Group Name: The OakdalePassword: OakieDokie