The NIT (Not Invited Tournament): There was a time when the National Invitation Tournament meant something. That was many dunks ago. For just about every year of my lifetime it has meant nothing.
Alabama will play in its 16th NIT beginning this week. They're a perennial NIT team.
This column could focus on Auburn's strong finish and first SEC Tournament title in 34 years, but I'd rather climb aboard my 10-foot high soapbox instead.
The perennial NCAA bubble team from Tuscaloosa drew a number one seed in that other tournament. But, why do we even have the other tournament?
After the dreadfully long CBS reveal of the field of 68, the answer lies in ESPN's much more dreadful reveal of the next 32. The NIT is ESPN's tourney, and like most everything else in life - it's about the money.
ESPN posts the bowl assignments for 80 teams in college football. What if there was another list after that? Alright, now after the past three hours of suspense - here are your next bunch of losers!
Even if there are roughly 350 programs eligible for the title in hoops, unlike the 128 or so with the pigskin, the field is still large enough. They've even talked of expanding to 92. It would be like tee ball - everybody wins.
Somehow or another, during this time of year in sports, we just can't get enough basketball. Still, the NIT rankings are woeful. I guess it's either hoops or axe throwing on ESPN. Give me axe throwing and some more of those chainsaw competitions.
If Alabama wins the whole thing, what does that make them? No. 69?
There are those 14, 15 and 16 seeds that aren't as good as a most NIT teams. Alabama might beat them, but I like their place in the "Big Dance." It's part of what makes that tourney fun.
The NCAA Tournament might be the best post-season in sports, but the NCAA regular season is not.
Bama fans have had enough. Alabama went 18-15. They are no fun to watch. Don't subject the fans to another tipoff. Spring football is here.
Going to the NIT is like taking the ugliest girl in your school to the prom. I'm sure Alabama is going to go out and wow them. So what if they're a No. 1 seed.
For those who will be watching the real tournament and filling out brackets, join our contest through ESPN under the group name: WTLS/River Region Sports. Sorry for the NIT folks, I'm having a tough time finding that bracket.