Proving further that there is little justice in how NCAA basketball teams are evaluated, especially mid-major squads, Yale was left out of the NIT Sunday evening despite a No. 74 KenPom ranking, No. 63 RPI and 22-10 record that finished with a gut-wrenching loss to Harvard in Saturday’s Ivy playoff game at the Palestra.
Yale’s losing out on a NIT bid so late prevented the Bulldogs from grabbing a spot in the CBI or CIT, which filled quickly. The Elis will not be one of 148 teams involved in this year’s postseason.
“It was a great year. One of the best years Yale has had,” Yale coach James Jones told Chris Hunn of the New Haven Register. “If we can’t get in this year, I don’t know how we can get in. It’s disheartening.”
It is disheartening, but the NIT has done this to the Ivy League before. In 2011, Harvard garnered only a 6 seed despite beating Colorado, Boston College and George Washington before finishing with a 12-2 conference record and a 63-62 loss in the Ivy playoff game to Princeton.
With Princeton declining a postseason bid, the number of Ivies in the postseason has dwindled to two: Harvard in the NCAA tournament and Dartmouth in the CIT. The Ivies appeared to be loaded preseason and did provide one of the most outstanding conference slates in league history. For many reasons, in Yale’s case chiefly a bias against mid-major teams and comparatively low Ivy visibility, the Ancient Eight postseason won’t reflect those efforts.