Is Fowler Working the NIT Phones?

With the Senior Day win over Wake Forest, NC State is now assured of no worse than a .500 record when the ACC Regular Season and Tournament is over. Currently, the Wolfpack is 15-13 with at least two games to play, at Maryland to end the season, and a most likely 7/10 match-up in the ACC Tournament in Tampa.

Many assume that an NIT bid is in the hand. But is it? Changes have been made to the NIT postseason tournament since the NCAA took it over in 2006. In summary, these are the changes:

1)You no longer need a .500 or above record to be selected to the NIT tournament. Although please note that no team was selected last year with a sub .500 record.

2)There is a true NIT selection committee, with actual procedures to select the teams. You can read all about the selection process here. These were the committee members last year, and we assume this year as well.

3)Regular Season conference champions are guaranteed a spot in the NIT field. This doesn’t impact Regular Season champions of major conferences like the ACC, Big 10, etc, but it does impact lower level conferences such as the CAA, Southern Conference, etc and could impact lower level teams in major power conferences – teams like NC State. If a Regular Season champion from one of the lower level conferences doesn’t win its conference tournament and secure the automatic NCAA bid, then that team is automatically selected for the NIT. In other words, lower level conference tournament upsets means less spots available in the NIT field for teams like NC State and other power conference teams.

4)The NIT field is no longer 40 teams in size, it is 32 teams.

What does this mean for NC State? It means hopefully Lee Fowler is working the phones, making the case for NC State and Sidney Lowe to receive a NIT bid. What worries SFN is the resume of possibly 3 other ACC teams that are potential NIT field worthy. Miami and Wake are out of contention. UNC, UVA, Va Tech, Duke, Maryland and most likely BC are in the NCAA field. GT, Clemson and FSU are on the NCAA bubble (with Tech being closer to the inside, and Clemson and FSU outside looking in). Most likely ONE of those bubble teams will make the NCAA field, and two will not. Certainly, FSU and Clemson can be considered “opponents” for NC State’s NIT bid. Let’s hope Lee Fowler realizes that and is working the phones, calling those NIT committee members, and making the case for NC State.

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06-07 Basketball General NC State Administration

85 Responses to Is Fowler Working the NIT Phones?

  1. Mr O 03/01/2007 at 10:45 AM #

    The 1st round matchup with FSU as a possible opponent could be a really big game for us. Maybe it takes one more win to get us in?

  2. Mr O 03/01/2007 at 10:53 AM #

    I stole this from a Wake poster(Chrispy) who is great at breaking down things such as the ACC standings:

    Here’s your Thursday update:

    Group 1:

    Team Rec Sched UNC VT UVA BC MD
    UNC 10-4 @GT, DU — 0-2 1-0 1-0 0-1
    VT 10-4 @UVA, CU 2-0 — 1-0 1-1 1-0
    UVA 10-4 VT, @WF 0-1 0-1 — 0-1 2-0
    BC 10-5 @GT 0-1 1-1 1-0 — 1-0
    MD 9-6 NCSU 1-0 0-1 0-2 0-1 —

    I believe the win by Maryland cements BC’s top 4 seed and bye, but there may be a way BC can still end up 5th.

    Maryland cannot be seeded behind Duke anymore, so I moved them up to Group 1 and Duke back to the next group.

    Maryland could only win a 2-way tiebreaker for a top 4 seed against UNC. There could be 3-way tiebreakers that would be more complicated. However, it seems likely Maryland will be the 5 seed.

    Group 2:

    Team Rec Sched DU GT FSU CU
    DU 8-7 @UNC — 1-1 N/A N/A
    GT 6-8 UNC, BC 1-1 — 2-0 1-1
    FSU 6-9 @Mia N/A 0-2 — 0-2
    CU 6-9 VT N/A 1-1 2-0 —

    GT can catch Duke by winning out and Duke losing out, and would likely get the tiebreaker over Duke in that case. Duke and GT are 0-1 against VT. Duke and GT are 0-1 against UVA. GT is 1-0 against BC; Duke is 2-0. But GT would have a win over UNC and Duke would not.

    FSU and Clemson appears to be the 8/9 game. FSU loses all tiebreakers, so they would need to finish at 7-9 with GT and Clemson at 6-10 to get to the 7 seed.

    Group 3:

    Team Rec Sched NCSU Mia WF
    NCSU 5-10 @MD — 0-1 1-0
    Mia 4-11 FSU 1-0 — 0-2
    WF 4-11 UVA 0-1 2-0 —

    I left NCSU here because I think it’s unlikely they win at Maryland. Even if they do, NCSU is 0-1 against FSU and 0-1 against Clemson, so they lose the tiebreakers. NCSU is almost locked into the 10 seed. Only a loss and a Miami win could knock the Pack back to 11.

    Wake is the 11 seed if they beat UVA or Miami loses to FSU. Miami only avoids 12 if they beat FSU AND Wake loses to UVA.

    Today, #5-#12 is more clear than #1-#4:
    5. MD
    6. Duke
    7. GT
    8. CU
    9. FSU
    10. NCSU
    11. WF
    12. Miami

    Edited by: Chrispy

  3. Rick 03/01/2007 at 10:58 AM #

    I would not assume Lee is doing anything other than gathering his check.
    I woudl think our history of gathering crowds has to play in our favor.

  4. Mr O 03/01/2007 at 11:05 AM #

    One other thing somebody brought up on the Wake board was being left out of the ACC/Big 10 challenge next season. IIRC, Wake didn’t play in it this year and there is a rule that you won’t ever miss two straight years. So does that mean we would get left out no matter where we finish? Probably so….

    So as long as Miami loses at FSU without Clemente who is suspended, then we finish in 10th place.

    If Duke beats UNC or GT loses to either UNC or BC, then Duke is the 6th seed.

    If GT loses out and Clemson loses its last game, then FSU would be the 7th seed and our likely opponent in the 1st round.

    GT wins any tiebreaker vs. FSU, so unless Clemson also finishes 7-9 then GT would be our opponent.

    If GT, FSU and Clemson finish 7-9, then we would either play Clemson or GT. Not sure who wins the tiebreaker in that scenario.

    I guess if GT loses to UNC and BC, then FSU or Clemson would move in front of them if they win their final games. So it appears that we will play GT, FSU or Clemson assuming that Mia

  5. lush 03/01/2007 at 11:08 AM #

    None of the previously mentioned teams have the venue or fan support that we have. Surely the NIT will look at how many possible ticket sales they will have when they look at inviting teams. Clemson nor FSU can touch us when it comes to fan support and arena.

  6. Trout 03/01/2007 at 11:08 AM #

    If this NIT Selection Committee chooses teams like the NCAA does, then we are clearly behind FSU and Clemson in terms of RPI, ACC wins, total wins and head-to-head. Clemson has no marquee wins, while we at least have beaten UNC and VT (twice).

    It is looking like we will play GT on Thursday night of the ACCT. A loss to NC State would probably knock GT from NCAA consideration (unless they beat UNC tonite and BC – and if they do that, they probably get the #6 seed, meaning we would play Duke in the ACCT).

    Also, need for FSU to beat Miami. Wake cannot pass us in the standings, but Miami can with a win, because they own the tiebreaker.

  7. Mr O 03/01/2007 at 11:15 AM #

    Trout: The one scenario I haven’t figured out is what happense if GT, FSU and Clemson all tie at 7-9.

  8. WTNY 03/01/2007 at 11:19 AM #

    I understand the NIT would provide more basketball and more practice for the young guys.

    However, I just don’t get the infatuation with the NIT. It won’t bother me if this “bridge to the future” year gracefully ends after the ACC tourney.

  9. gopack968 03/01/2007 at 11:21 AM #

    If the NIT doesn’t want our team, our fans, and our arena – F’em!

    Next year though, if we can squeak out that road win in Greenville… we are in baby!

  10. Trout 03/01/2007 at 11:23 AM #


    Agree in principle. I’m not infatuated with the NIT, I just think that postseason experience for a very young team, and a coach that’s never coached in postseason (college), would be helpful, even at a NIT level.

    Plus, I think we could win some games, maybe get to 18 or so wins. The risk, however, is that we lose in the first round, and finish with a losing season.

    It keeps our “years of postseason” play streak in tact.

    I get the feeling that Sid wants to make a postseason tourney, so I hope we do.

  11. Mr O 03/01/2007 at 11:24 AM #

    WTNY: It is a tournament and a chance to win something. A trip to NYC for this team is something to play for and be excited about.

  12. Pack Laddie 03/01/2007 at 11:29 AM #

    It was Lee Fowler who went and sold the Gator Bowl folks on taking NC State over two teams that finished higher in the ACC standings, and who beat NC State head to head. He guaranteed a large number of tickets, and the fans delivered. I would expect he is doing the same with the NIT people.

  13. Mr O 03/01/2007 at 11:32 AM #

    If we could win a few games in the NIT, then we are much better off going into next season in terms of pre-season publicity. Getting to NYC might even get us a few votes in pre-season polls with the addition of as many as six new players and potential all-ACC guys in Grant, Costner and McCauley.

    There is no reason not to want to play in the NIT.

  14. ncsu96 03/01/2007 at 11:33 AM #

    Laddie – Quit bringing facts to the discussion;)

    Do I have amnesia or didn’t LF chair the NCAA tourney committee a few years back, me thinks he knows more about how these committee work anyone around here.

  15. LRM 03/01/2007 at 11:33 AM #

    State fans won’t flock to Raleigh (much less NYC) to see a Tuesday night NIT game against Virginia Commonwealth. What’s there to sell?

  16. Trout 03/01/2007 at 11:34 AM #

    ^ They should play the NIT games in Reynolds. That would be something to sell.

  17. Pack Laddie 03/01/2007 at 11:37 AM #

    I agree with Trout—play at Reynolds (if it is contractually possible with the RBC). More people might go, just because it is at Reynolds.

    But, guarantee tickets if you have too.

  18. RickJ 03/01/2007 at 11:39 AM #

    Wake hasn’t missed postseason in 17 years and it has been 20 years since they have failed to beat Duke, NC State or UNC at least once. This is quite a set back after their incredible year in football.

    Does Wellman make a move on Prosser this year? This seems very doubtful but he was very proactive regarding Odom. I don’t see Prosser getting any offers from Cincy or Pittsburg. As it currently stands, Prosser doesn’t have anymore sholarships to give this year or the next (no juniors on their team). I would expect to see at least a couple of transfers from Wake in the offseason but recruiting is going to be pretty difficult unless they start winning more next year.

  19. Trout 03/01/2007 at 11:45 AM #


    In the past, NIT teams were selected in consultation with ESPN, the television home of the NIT [1]. The goal of the NIT was to sustain the MIBA financially. Therefore, schools selected to play in the NIT were often major conference teams with records near .500 that had large television fan bases and would likely have a respectable attendance for tournament games on their homecourt. The latter is one reason why New Mexico was invited virtually every year they had a winning season but failed to qualify for the NCAA tournament [2]. Seeding considerations and home field advantage included the number of fans willing to show up to each game. In an effort to maintain some quality, a rule saying that a team must have a .500 record to qualify for the NIT was imposed. This prevented ESPN from suggesting major conference teams that finished at or very near the bottom of their conference standings but would likely garner good fan interest.

    The NCAA announced a revamped selection process starting with the 2006 tournament. The main highlights are:
    * Teams are no longer required to have .500 or greater records to receive bids. This may have an effect on the last few teams invited. However, in 2006, all teams qualifying for the NIT had a record greater than .500.

    * All teams that won regular-season conference championships but failed to earn NCAA tournament bids are guaranteed places in the NIT. Thus, more teams from the low-major conferences may qualify. (Mid-major regular season conference champions have traditionally been invited.)

    In addition, the selection process has been made transparent. ESPN will no longer help select the teams. Instead, a committee of six former NCAA head coaches, C. M. Newton[3]. (Alabama), Dean Smith (North Carolina), Don DeVoe (Tennessee), Reggie Minton, John Powers and Carroll Williams, prepared a list of potential teams in advance. The seeding and balancing process is similar to that of the NCAA tournament, with the exception that higher seeded teams will always host games, unless extenuating circumstances occur. In the past, higher seeded mid-major teams would often be forced to travel to play less highly regarded major conference teams that would be likely to sell more tickets to the game

    Furthermore, ESPN will continue to provide television coverage of the tournament. The NIT has a 10-year, $24.1 million contract with ESPN; this compares with the 11-year, $6.2 billion TV contract with CBS for the NCAA tournament.

    These changes are intended to encourage participation by good college teams that would rather stay home than play in the NIT – to make it the “Little Dance” instead of the “loser’s tournament.” NIT Committee Chairman C. M. Newton stated, “What we want to have is a true basketball event, a real tournament, one where there’s no preconceived ideas of who gets to New York. We’d love to have great crowds, but this is not a financial consideration. We want good television coverage, but were not going to play this thing for television and move games around.” [4]. Another positive consideration is that a #1-seeded team that goes to the semifinals will have three home games, which helps ticket sales.

    Beginning with the 2007 NIT tournament, the field for the NIT will be reduced to 32 schools from 40, the number chosen since 2002. The tournament will feature four eight-team regions.

    The new format — actually a return to the 32-team field used by the NIT from 1980-2001 — will eliminate the event’s eight-game opening round, in which lower-seeded teams played for second-round berths against the eight highest seeds. The reduction will not affect the NIT’s automatic bid to any regular-season conference champion that does not make the NCAA’s field of 65. Seven teams earned an NIT bid that way in 2006.

  20. TNCSU 03/01/2007 at 11:46 AM #

    ^^^It was Lee Fowler who went and sold the Gator Bowl folks on taking NC State over two teams that finished higher in the ACC standings, and who beat NC State head to head. He guaranteed a large number of tickets, and the fans delivered. I would expect he is doing the same with the NIT people.

    I know I may be in the minority, but damn, it’s nice to finally see someone NOT bashing LF. I also think he’s done a good job getting us two new head coaches in the past year. Although the road was tough in getting to Sid, I think most of us agree, that we all like the result of having Coach Lowe on the sidelines.

  21. CarnifeX 03/01/2007 at 11:53 AM #

    I’m not sure I want Lee putting his affiliation with anything that is Wolfpack sports.

  22. Trout 03/01/2007 at 11:56 AM #

    1st and 2nd round women’s NCAA games are at the RBC Center. So if we get invited to the NIT, I can see us either playing at Reynolds, or one the road.

  23. Girlfriend in a Coma 03/01/2007 at 11:58 AM #

    It might be better for our team to play the NIT games (if any) on the road.

  24. redfred2 03/01/2007 at 12:02 PM #

    “I also think he’s done a good job getting us two new head coaches (who both fell directly into his lap and wanted the jobs before they even became available) in the past year.”

  25. SWEETS 03/01/2007 at 12:03 PM #

    If we are waiting on Jed to get us in the NIT – we are @#ed. We can start talking football.

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