This has been an interesting question that first came to my attention on Monday.
Should the Syracuse Orange, and the Carrier Dome, host NIT games when the Orange doesn’t make the NCAA Tournament.
I say yes, but another prominent program refuses -- for whatever reason.
Indiana, who started the 2016-17 season ranked in the Top 10, failed to make the NCAA Tournament and received an NIT bid.
The Hoosiers received a No. 3 seed in the NIT, but decided to play at No. 6 seed Georgia Tech because IU didn’t want to “devalue” Assembly Hall.
Indiana’s Athletic Director Fred Glass basically said hosting an NIT game is beneath IU’s standards.
As Matt Bonesteel of the Washington Post pointed out, losing to a 12-19 Nebraska team back in December devalues the arena a little bit, doesn’t it?
ESPN reported that Assembly Hall was undergoing renovations, but IU shut down that report instantly.
This begs the question, should Syracuse host an NIT game or is it beneath them too?
And it’s an easy answer: yes.
It gives the fans another chance to see their favorite players, it gives the seniors another chance to play in front of the home fans that have supported them for four or five years and it gives everyone a chance to enjoy more basketball -- even if it’s not in the circumstances that most wanted.
Nobody is bigger than the NIT, despite what some think. Everyone has down years, everyone struggles and everyone seemingly takes their turn in the gutter.
The funny thing about Indiana’s situation is the women’s team will be hosting Ball State on Thursday at Assembly Hall ..... in the NIT. You know, that thing that devalues buildings?
So was it a cover to just hide Tom Crean from a fanbase that wants him gone? Probably. Oh, and Georgia Tech beat Indiana in Atlanta, 75-63, which eliminates the chance of seeing Thomas Bryant play in the Dome.
Does playing NIT games in the Carrier Dome devalue the venue?
I don’t think so. I’d rather see Syracuse play UNC-Greensboro at the Dome than down in Greensboro because, well, there’s no value to playing it there. None.