While it may be little consolation, Colorado, St. Mary’s and other NCAA Tournament snubs were rewarded for a strong body of work in 2011 with high seeds in the NIT. When the 2011 NIT bracket was revealed, Colorado received a No. 1 seed in the tournament just hours after being snubbed when the NCAA Tournament brackets were released. Colorado will be able to host every round, should it win out, all the way until the Final Four.
St. Mary’s was also a notable snub when the NCAA brackets were announced, missing out on the field of 68 after the Gonzaga Bulldogs snatched the WCC’s automatic NCAA Tournament bid. Like Colorado, St. Mary’s was rewarded with a high seed during the NIT Selection Show — a No. 2 seed in the tournament. St. Mary’s drew Kent State in the opening round and will play host to the Golden Flashes on Tuesday.
Alabama also drew a No. 1 seed after coming close to an NCAA Tournament bid earlier in the day. The Crimson Tide will have home-court advantage throughout the tournament, beginning with a Tuesday matchup against Coastal Carolina. New Mexico or UTEP await in the second round.
Even though it’s the NIT and not the Big Dance, at least these snubs will have a postseason experience. Though it won’t take the sting of not hearing their name called during as the NCAA Tournament bracket was revealed, a trip to Madison Square Garden awaits as a light at the end of the tunnel.