For the second straight season under Head Coach Archie Miller and the third straight season overall, IU will not take part in the NCAA Tournament.
Sunday night’s reveal of the 68-team NCAA Tournament field confirmed what became likely after IU lost its opening Big Ten Tournament game to Ohio State on Thursday afternoon.
With a 17-15 overall record, an 8-12 mark in conference games and that loss to the Buckeyes, the Hoosiers were unable to crack the tournament field despite a plethora of quality wins.
The selection committee barely left IU out of the tournament though. The bracket reveal listed the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, the University of Alabama, Texas Christian University and IU as the first four teams left out of the field.
The Hoosiers’ focus shifted to another bracket reveal, this one for the National Invitational Tournament, which took place Sunday night at 8:30 p.m. on ESPNU. Several bracketologists projected IU as a No. 1 seed for the 32-team tournament, and as one of the first four teams left out of the NCAA Tournament, it earned exactly that.
IU will play No. 8 seed Saint Francis University at 7 p.m. March 19 at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. The winner of that game will play the winner of Providence University and University of Arkansas, a team IU fell to 73-72 on Nov. 18.
The Hoosiers have played in the NIT, college basketball’s second-most prestigious postseason tournament, on five prior occasions.
IU won the NIT in 1979, defeating Purdue by one point in the championship game. The Hoosiers most recently appeared in the NIT in 2017, Tom Crean’s final season as head coach.
Crean’s final game as coach was a first-round NIT loss at the Georgia Institute of Technology after IU declined the opportunity to play the game in Bloomington as the higher seed in the tournament.
The Hoosiers are 8-4 all-time in NIT games, although their last victory came in the semifinals of the 1985 edition.
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