Will the Dutchmen be dreaming a little NIT dream tonight?
One of the reasons I was more melodramatic than usual after the Flying Dutchmen lost to Old Dominion—and let’s face it, my usual melodrama is enough for 10 CAA bloggers, and I’m not even sure we HAVE 10 CAA bloggers!—a week ago today was the purgatory-like uncertainty that accompanied the defeat.
We figured the Dutchmen would play again this year, even if their NCAA hopes were obviously extinguished, but where would they play? And how do you mourn the demise of the big dream, and put that into context, without shoveling dirt on the entire season, even when you don’t know where the rest of the season will be played?
Watching the Dutchmen in the CAA Tournament last weekend wasn’t like watching a baseball team fall six games behind in the playoff race with five to play. For a team like Hofstra—with 20-plus wins and a top 100 RPI on its resume—the end of the conference tournament is really only the first goodbye. That’s both good and bad, as we’ll try to discuss in between previewing the Dutchmen’s next game, whatever and wherever it is.
And as of now, a little more than an hour before the NIT selection show, the odds of the Dutchmen being invited to the NIT are much better than they were before the usually moronic NCAA Tournament Selection Committee shockingly invited VCU, made #3Bids4CAA a reality and sent elitist snobs Digger Phelps, Jay Bilas, Dick Vitale and Hubert Davis into a fit of fury on ESPN.
The Dutchmen will probably still miss out on the NIT, since 14 regular season mid-major champions received automatic bids after losing in their conference tournament, but if the committee places an emphasis on conference performance—a long shot, to be sure—then the Dutchmen should be the pick to represent the CAA.
If it’s not the NIT, then the Dutchmen will very likely make a return trip to the CBI. The CIT, which is exclusively for mid-majors, has already issued 20 of its 24 invites, according to ChicagoNow.com, while the 16-team CBI has received confirmations from six teams.
The CBI, which has invited multiple schools from major conferences (defined by me as BCS leagues, the Atlantic 10 and the Mountain West) in each of its first three seasons, could provide an incremental boost in publicity for the Dutchmen. Follow me on Twitter all night long as we try to figure out where the Dutchmen are playing next and tune in tomorrow for the very latest analysis.