The Indiana Hoosiers season came to a close Sunday afternoon after the team didn’t receive a bid to the National Invitational Tournament. IU finished with a 17-15 record and was considered a bubble team for the NIT.
Coach Tom Crean stated that the Hoosiers would have participated in the tournament had they received a bid following the team’s loss to Illinois in the Big Ten tourney.
The NIT is a 32-team tournament that is just a notch below the NCAA Tournament. IU would likely receive a bid to the College Basketball Invitational, another inferior tourney, but will not accept such an offer.
Athletic director Fred Glass made it clear the season was over earlier this evening.
“Finances wouldn’t be an issue if we thought it made sense,” Glass told The Indianapolis Star. “But we’re Indiana. We don’t play in the CBI.”
Frankly, for a program with the history of IU even going to the NIT is a disappointment. The Hoosiers are not alone as the other major programs in Indiana (Notre Dame, Purdue, and Butler) won’t be participating in the postseason either.
Many considered the lack of a bid to be a snub, but a 17-15 record really isn’t strong enough to deserve a playoff game.
Indiana’s season was a massive disappointment. The team is undeniably talented, but was never able to find any consistency in conference play. Couple that with a weak non-conference schedule and its no surprise the Hoosiers are at home for March.
The Hoosiers went from a one seed in last years NCAA Tournament to not even making the NIT this season. Its a huge drop off but hopefully one that the coaching staff and players can learn from and take into next year.
Coach Tom Crean made it clear on twitter that he and his team wanted to keep playing this season.
We would have loved to be able to keep playing. Our determination and confidence was high. Our desire to improve has been strong.
— Tom Crean (@TomCrean) March 17, 2014
The Hoosiers were in control of their own destiny for the final few weeks of the season, but lost too many winnable games at home. They had a number of marquee wins, but just too many embarrassing losses that skewed the balance.
IU has a lot of questions heading into the offseason. They have a talented incoming class, and the returning players show a lot of promise. The big question will be whether or not Noah Vonleh decides to enter the NBA Draft where he is currently projected as a top 10 pick.
We’ll keep you updated on the Hoosiers offseason and start looking ahead to next fall in the coming weeks.