Auto-bids are handed out to teams which win their league during the regular season but don’t win the conference tournament. Notable examples this season are the Belmont Bruins from the Ohio Valley Conference, the Oakland Golden Grizzlies from the Horizon League, and the Monmouth Hawks of the MAAC.
Teams like Illinois State and Dayton also have NIT auto-bids, but both could end up as at-large selections for the big dance.
NIT at-large contenders from the mid-major ranks include teams like the BYU Cougars (22-11) and Valparaiso Crusaders (24-8). Those two teams met in last year’s NIT Final Four. Mid-major leagues like the Colonial Athletic Association, West Coast Conference, Atlantic-10 and Mountain West could each send multiple teams to the NIT. But, as is the case with the NCAA Tournament, middling power conference teams will end up with more at-large berths than they probably deserve.
Find out who will be heading where in the NIT Sunday evening on ESPNU.l
When: Sunday, March 12 at 8:30 p.m. ET