March Madness, the biggest time of the year for college basketball. Only a total of 68 teams can enjoy the fun in the NCAA tournament while the others have a chance for a spot at the National Invitation Tournament (NIT). For those who don’t even make the NIT, well I guess you’ll be watching at home or from a bar like the rest of us sports fans.
Typically, all schools that are invited to play in either tournament take the postseason bid with no questions asked. For one school this year, it was a different answer. But why? The LSU Basketball Tigers have declined their invitation to the NIT because “they will be able to utilize this time to get better and start prepping for next season”, says coach Johnny Jones. To be quite honest, I really can’t blame the guy after Texas A&M handed LSU an old fashion beat down on Saturday, beating the Tigers 71-38. Hell, coach Jones might need a vacation after a loss like that, especially when you have a luxury on your team named Ben Simmons. A young man who was the top recruited hooper out of high school and has been pretty much penciled in as the 1st overall pick in the NBA draft. All the time spent recruiting the number 1 player in the world, with the ultimate goal to make the NCAA tournament, gone in the blink of an eye… Ouch!
(Derick E. Hingle/USA TODAY Sports)
But realistically thinking, is LSU declining for other reasons than “to prep for next season”? Is LSU going to fall victim to some heavy recruiting violations so they’ve been forced to decline the post season? Or is the NIT just not good enough for LSU basketball so they’ve decided not to have the NIT tournament associated with their name? Who knows, the future may hold the truth. As for one thing we can be sure about, they better start recruiting a new Power Forward because Ben Simmons will be well on his way to the bank when he’s the 1st overall pick in this years draft.