Tennessee Basketball will almost certainly not go to the NCAA Tournament, but they could receive an offer to the NIT Tournament.
Tennessee basketball’s regular season has come to an end, and the rebuild season did not offer any good luck we had hoped for before the season. The Vols could not find consistency on offense, and it cost them important wins that could’ve gotten them into the Big Dance.
We can’t change any of that now, we just have to look forward, and Rick Barnes and the Vols have to take advantage of future opportunities that come their way.
One of those potential opportunities could be an invitation to the NIT Tournament. After Tennessee’s season finale loss to Auburn, Barnes told reporters that Tennessee would accept an NIT bid if it were offered.
His reason is the Vols need to play as much basketball as possible. The team is relatively young, and most players will be returning next season, so the more experience they have against quality opponents, the better they can get.
Some may look at the NIT and say the Vols should just cut its losses and go into the offseason and work out in the gym and on the court and not take an NIT bid, but I agree with Barnes in this case.
These Tennessee basketball players need as much playing time as possible against real opponents. This team is young and needs experience, and this could be the experience that helps them have a much better season next year.
If the Vols are offered an NIT bid, I think they should take it and continue to improve before they hit the offseason. Maybe Tennessee can even find a way to win the tournament.