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NIT 2016: Northwestern not selected for National Invitational Tournament

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Northwestern basketball was not selected for the 2016 National Invitational Tournament (NIT) when the 32-team field was released Sunday night.

The Wildcats finished 20-12 in their third season under Chris Collins. It's the fourth year in a row in which the program has missed out on the NIT. It made four straight appearances in the NIT under Bill Carmody between 2008-09 and 2011-12. NU has never made the NCAA Tournament.

Northwestern now must decide whether or not to participate in either the CBI or Vegas 16. The most likely scenario is that NU decides to end its season without a postseason tournament.

The CBI likely isn't appealing enough to the program. Last year's CBI semifinals featured Vermont, Louisiana-Monroe, Seattle and Loyola-Chicago. Many other major conference teams turn down the CBI every year.

The Vegas 16, in its first year of existence, could attract more major programs, but the problem for Northwestern is the timing. The Vegas 16 takes place over five straight days beginning on March 26. Northwestern would have 16 days in between its loss to Michigan and its Vegas 16 opener. That, plus the fact that it takes place over the university's spring break, might deter the Wildcats.

UPDATE:

Per the program, Northwestern will not play in any postseason tournaments after missing out on the NIT. The season is over.