Following NCAA disappointment, UofL gets NIT invite

Following NCAA disappointment, UofL gets NIT invite
David Padgett (Source: Kendrick Haskins, WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A little more than an hour after they learned they were shut out of the NCAA Tournament, the UofL Cardinals received an invitation to the NIT Tournament.

UofL got a 2 seed in the tournament and will begin play against Northern Kentucky University. The NIT starts Tuesday; as of this writing, times and locations were still to be determined.

NKU played UK tough in last year's NCAA Tournament in Indianapolis before the Wildcats escaped with a nine-point win.

UofL had chances late in the season to strengthen its NCAA resume. But a last-second fluke at home cost them a game against top-ranked Virginia.

And just a week later, those same Cavaliers were too much for the Cards in a quarterfinal game in last week's ACC Tournament, which Virginia eventually won.

UVA claimed the tournament's top overall seed.

The Cards, 20-13, now await their postseason invitations. Speculation circulated last week that Louisville would turn down an offer to play in the NIT, but interim athletic director Vince Tyra shot that idea down and said UofL would accept such an invitation.

The NCAA snub marks the first time since 1976 that UofL was eligible for postseason play and won at least 20 games and did not get an invitation to the Big Dance.

It's also the first time a Power Five team with a Top-40 RPI ranking hasn't been invited to the tournament.

Heading into Sunday's final day of conference tournament championship games, Louisville was on the bubble with other Power Five squads such as Arizona State, Syracuse and Oklahoma, all of whom received NCAA bids ahead of the Cardinals.

Davidson's upset of Rhode Island in Sunday's Atlantic 10 final gave the Wildcats that league's automatic bid and earned them "bid-stealer" status in the eyes of Cards fans.

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