LSU Misses Out on the NIT

USA TODAY Sports

Kentucky, Tennessee, and Alabama were chosen instead

Despite putting together a 19-12 record in a traditional power conference and positing a .500 record in SEC play, LSU will not be a part of the 2013 NIT.

LSU's chances at getting in to the NIT took a hit this week as several teams failed to win their conference championship tournaments. The NIT rewards all regular season conference champions who are snubbed by the NCAA Selection Committee, with an automatic bid to their 32 team tournament. This year, that meant 10 teams received automatic bids, including Louisiana Tech, which won the WAC regular season title but fell to UT-San Antonio in the first round of their conference tournament.

LSU's chances of obtaining an NIT bid also worsened after the NCAA field was announced earlier on Sunday evening. Only three SEC teams made the field. Florida received a 3 seed in the South, Missouri got an 8 seed in the loaded Midwest bracket, and Ole Miss picked up a 12th seed in the West, after beating Florida earlier today to become SEC champions. The low seeding for Ole Miss suggests that they may have missed the field of 68 altogether, if not for their spectacular week in Nashville.

However, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Alabama were not selected for the NCAAs. Since they all had better records, both in conference play and overall, than LSU, it wasn't surprising to see the NIT reward them all with high seeds. Kentucky and Alabama were both seeded first in their 8 team brackets, while Tennessee picked up a second seed behind Southern Mississippi. Here is a link to the full bracket.

Despite the strong showing for those three SEC teams, the NIT chose not to offer invitations to LSU and Arkansas. After being passed over by the NIT, the LSU athletic department indicated on Twitter that the team's season had come to an end, writing

EDIT: Coach Johnny Jones later confirmed to The Advocate that LSU would not consider a bid to the CBI or any other post season tournament.

This means that the team will also not be seeking a bid in the 16-team CBI tournament, which is considered less prestigious than the NIT.

LSU's snub is surprising considering last year's team made the tournament with an 18-14 record and only won 7 of 17 SEC games.

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