Indiana’s season ended short of the NCAA Tournament field, when the Hoosiers crashed out of the Big Ten Tournament last week. Now, that season appears to be over entirely. The Hoosiers did not receive an invitation Sunday night to this year’s NIT, the 32-team competition one rung below its NCAA counterpart in the college basketball postseason. Indiana was passed over, though fellow Big Ten foes Minnesota and Illinois made the field. IU might still be willing to accept a bid to the College Basketball Invitational, a tertiary 16-team tournament also played this month. Teams that host games in the CBI are required to pay for that privilege. If the Hoosiers do not participate in the CBI, then this will be the first time since 2011 that their season ends with the Big Ten Tournament. Four of Crean’s six seasons in Bloomington have ended without postseason play beyond the conference tournament. Indiana finished the regular season 17-15, with four home wins over ranked teams. Wisconsin, Ohio State, Michigan and Iowa all lost in Bloomington this season. But the Hoosiers struggled to build a consistent run of good results in conference play. They never won more than two games in a row. The win over Wisconsin was followed by back-to-back losses, including one at home to Northwestern. Indiana’s victory over Michigan, the eventual Big Ten champion, preceded a three-game losing streak, IU’s longest streak of wins or losses in conference play. A two-game winning streak comprising victories over Iowa and Ohio State gave the Hoosiers late hope for a surge into the NCAA Tournament. But IU followed that with a senior night loss to Nebraska, a close road loss at Michigan and a first-round Big Ten Tournament exit at the hands of Illinois. Indiana was considered a bubble team heading into the NIT selection show, which offers automatic bids to regular-season conference champions who do not secure a bid to the NCAA Tournament. This season, 13 teams fit that bill, an unusually high number that slimmed the NIT at-large field.
Indiana left out of NIT field, will not play in postseason: 'We don't play in the CBI'
Louisville Courier-Journal | Mar 18