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Syracuse Declines NIT Bid: Why?

Syracuse NIT

Headed into last night, many Syracuse fans were expecting to watch the Orange play in the NIT, or the National Invitation Tournament. There was even a possibility of hosting games. However, the bracket was released, and SU was nowhere to be found. At the time, schools like Ole Miss and Indiana had already announced that they had declined a bid. But Syracuse hadn’t said a word.

It was a confusing hour or two for Orange fans. Had Syracuse really been bumped out of the field by several teams with losing records? Was a 16-17 Xavier team really more worthy of an NIT bid?

The answers to all of those questions became clear: no. Syracuse didn’t not make the NIT, the program declined to play in the tournament. After head coach Adrian Autry’s statements last week, that makes no sense. 

After losing to NC State in the ACC Tournament, he said, “I think any time you get a chance to make a postseason I think you have to take it.”

By last night, the sentiment had changed so much that the program put out a statement saying, “We respect the NIT but our only postseason goal was to play in the NCAA Tournament. Therefore, we communicated to the ACC we would not participate in the NIT.”

That’s quite the change in tune, but there may be a reason for it. In the last month of the regular season, only six members of the Orange were getting significant minutes: the starters and Quadir Copeland. Off the bench, Kyle Cuffe got some minutes, and Peter Carey played sparingly.

Eight players is already a short rotation. Considering the fact that the transfer portal opened today, it’s possible that Syracuse was informed by some players that they’ll be leaving, and therefore won’t be playing in the NIT. That’s not a guarantee, but it’s possible. That reasoning is also the most likely reason for such a big change in perspective in just a few days.

No one knows for sure why Syracuse really declined an NIT bid… yet. In the coming days, we’ll learn a whole lot more.

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The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.


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